Learning English

Most newcomers to the U.S. find that they feel happier and more content as their English language skills improve. It is natural for international students, scholars, and their families to face challenges as they develop their English conversation, reading and writing skills.

For Graduate International Students - The Princeton University McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning offers the Princeton University English Language Program for International Graduate Students.

For International Graduate Students and Scholars - The Friends of the Davis International Center offer three types of English language assistance open to select members of the University community (see details below).

The Friends of the Davis International Center - English Language Programs

Individual English Conversation Program

Individual English Conversation Program Coordinator: Carl Clough


Who can join this class?

  • International Graduate Students
  • International Scholars, Visiting Professors and Post Docs

What does the program offer?

  • This Program offers one-on-one assistance with conversational English, as well as friendship, help, and encouragement in assimilating into life in Princeton and the U.S.A

How does the program work?

  • International visiting scholars and graduate students who wish to improve their conversational English skills register in the Program by contacting Carl Clough at cgclough16@embarqmail.com (link is external). You may join at any time during the academic year.

When and where do you meet?

  • Normally, the times and locations for the weekly meetings are scheduled at a time and location that meet the needs of the tutor and student. Each session provides the opportunity to speak English face to face in a comfortable and informal public setting. Meetings can be held on-campus, at restaurants or in other public places. During the pandemic all meetings are conducted by electronic means (ZOOM, FaceTime etc.)

What do the tutors talk about?

  • The subject matter is free form; daily life, current news, and cultural differences are often discussed. Magazines and newspapers are frequently used for subject matter. In addition, as friendships develop, the tutor may help with personal issues facing the partner such as transportation for off-campus needs or sightseeing.

How do I register?

  • New volunteer tutors are welcome and no experience is  necessary.  However, tutors should be native English speakers. To volunteer to be an individual English Conversation tutor, contact Carl Clough at cgclough16@embarqmail.com (link is external).
Group English Conversation Program

Group English Conversation Program Coordinator: Anna Dombrowski

The English Conversation Group classes offer an opportunity for you to practice your English language skills, make friends, and learn about different cultures. Each class is divided into small groups, each with a volunteer tutor who is a native English speaker. The tutor will help you with pronunciation, vocabulary, idioms, and other English topics in a friendly and relaxed setting where you don't need to worry about making mistakes. We will help you understand American customs and adapt to living in Princeton. We have a text or lesson plan to base our discussion on, or sometimes we might play friendly games – in English of course! We have occasional field trips and presentations. All are welcome to join on one day per week or both days. 

Who can join this class?

  • International Graduate Students
  • International Scholars
  • International Spouses

How do I register for this class?

When does the group meet?

  • The group conversation classes are held virtually via Zoom.
  • Once registered you will receive a Zoom link. 

Class Information:

  • Classes are held from 9:30-10:30 AM ET, on Thursdays
  • Due to COVID-19 concerns, all in-person classes are canceled until further notice. 
  • Students are free to participate in one or both sessions and to join at any time throughout the academic year.
Informal English Classes

Informal English Class Coordinator: Brian Zack

Who can join this class?

  • International Graduate Students
  • International Scholars
  • International Spouses

What does the program offer?

  • Informal English Class is sponsored by Friends of Davis International Center and is taught by Brian Zack, a tutor in the Friends’ Group English Conversation Program. The classes include vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, idioms, and reading. Participants should be at the intermediate skill level or above. No registration or fees are needed - just come! It is OK to arrive late and/or leave early! And no homework is required!
  • Please e-mail questions to Brian at bgzack@gmail.com

Time and Place

  • Brian's "Informal English Class" will meet most Fridays on the campus of Princeton University, beginning at (about) 9:15 am and ending at (about) Noon. The location, schedule changes and cancellations, and other class information, will be announced on the class Facebook page, "Brian's Informal English Class."
  • Please 'like' this page, and check it every week before coming to class! -

Questions or Comments