Initial English Speaking Consultation Interview:

Getting to know you and your English


Getting to know you

  • Name
  • Home country
  • Native language(s)
  • Current academic status (none, Intensive English Program, undergrad year, MS, MA, MBA, MFA, PhD, postdoc, visiting scholar, etc.)
  • Major

  • How long have you been in Ames?
  • How long have you been in an English-speaking country (the U.S. or elsewhere)?
  • Tell me about your long-term and short-term goals. Why do you want to improve your English? (Do you plan to return home or stay in the U.S. or work elsewhere in the world? What’s your dream job?)
  • What specific improvements in your English speaking (and listening?) do you want to make? Why?



Getting to know your English listening/speaking self-evaluation

Directions: For each relationship category indicated below, rate how comfortable you are with various English speaking skills important for successful conversations and presentations. If you don’t have any relationships in a particular category or certain conversation/presentation speaking skills aren’t necessary for a particular relationship, just say N/A (not applicable).

Relationship Categories

How comfortable are you speaking in English with:

  1. close friends
  2. colleagues and classmates you’re not close to
  3. students you teach or supervise
  4. your professor/advisor/boss
  5. someone you’ve never met before in a personal context (for example, at a friend’s house)
  6. someone you’ve never met before in a professional context (for example, at a conference)


Rating Scale

If I make no improvement in this, the probability I can reach my future goals:

  1. will almost certainly be hurt
  2. will probably be hurt
  3. might be hurt
  4. will probably not be hurt
  5. will almost certainly not be hurt



In conversation:

  • Starting a conversation
    • Small talk
  • Maintaining the conversation
    • Telling the story of something that happened
    • Describing someone/something
    • Explaining how to do something
    • Explaining a problem
    • Explaining your opinion
    • Arguing for/defending your opinion
    • Describing possibilities and hypotheses
    • Requesting information
    • Requesting help
    • Agreeing to help
    • Refusing to help
    • Criticizing something
    • Criticizing someone
    • Apologizing
  • Leaving a conversation


In presentations:

  • Giving a presentation
    • Starting a presentation
    • Clearly communicating my main points
    • Providing clear and interesting examples
    • Predicting and countering likely criticisms
    • Ending a presentation
  • Responding to questions
  • Responding to criticisms



Getting to know your current English listening/speaking practice time

Directions: For each day of the week, explain how many hours you spend listening to English (and doing what). Then do the same thing again, this time explaining how many hours you spend speaking English (and doing what).

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday



Getting to know your personal history of learning to listen and speak English 

  • Please share your personal history of learning to listen and understand and speak English from the time you first started learning to listen and speak in English until now. Please include not only what you learned at school and university, but also what you learned via outside programs and self-study.