Looking to improve your fluency in a second language?
The ERC’s Language Link program offers BU students, faculty, staff, and alumni an opportunity to engage in
language conversation groups in many languages, including English, so that you can stay fluent in your
non-native languages. These small, informal weekly discussions often become cultural exchanges rather than just
conversations. Through Language Link, individuals expand their vocabulary and cultural experiences in addition
to improving their pronunciation.
Language Link groups are offered at three levels:
novice (limited background)
(1-3 years of exposure)
advanced level (3+ years of exposure)
See FAQs to learn more
about the levels and determine which one is best for you.
*Please note language availability can vary
from semester to semester.
Language Link groups offer the perfect opportunity to connect with others interested in language and
The goal of Language Link is to have fun in conjunction with increasing language proficiency,
and social interaction in another language. Language Link leaders are not teachers or tutors; they are
facilitators of conversation. Language Link is not a formal class but instead is an informal opportunity
practice speaking a language. Students do not need to be enrolled in a language course at BU in order to
What does a Language Link appointment look like?
Language Link sessions are led
by native speakers of the chosen language and can hold up to 8 participants. These sessions are 30 minutes long
and can include a variety of cultural discussion topics. The topic of conversation is directed by the interests
of the participants and the Language Link Leader.
What should I not expect?
You don’t have to have perfect grammar
to participate in Language Link! This is a judgement free space for you to make mistakes and grow more
comfortable with your speaking proficiency. Because this is not a classroom environment, Language Link Leaders
cannot correct or advise you on course assignments. You should also not expect the Leader to do all the talking;
these sessions are for your benefit!
How do I get the most out of my appointment?
Link sessions are only 30 minutes in length, it is very important that you arrive on time. If you arrive 15
minutes late, you’ll miss half the conversation. Participants that flourish come prepared to contribute to the
conversation in an open, respectful manner. If you’re very nervous, think beforehand about some topics that
you’d feel comfortable talking about. Always remember that everyone in your group is at your same profiency
level so you’re all learning together.
Is Language Link the only resource for
No! If you’re enrolled in a foreign language course at BU and need guidance with your course
material then ERC Peer Tutoring
is a great resource.
For English language learners, there is a one credit, pass/fail FY 101 course offered by
Christina Michaud for any student that wants hands-on ESL pronunciation and oral communication tutoring.
Please email Christina Michaud at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for
Participants interested in American Sign Language (ASL) conversation groups should contact
the Deaf Studies department directly at email@example.com.
we recommend you explore our Resource Guide page to see if anything else might benefit you.
General Questions and ERC Policy
Should I prepare myself before attending Language
Yes, be prepared to participate! Your participation is vital to the success of the
program. It’s also important to be prepared to tell the leader what you hope to accomplish by
participating in the groups. Please see more about this in the above section “what to
How do I get in touch with my Language Link Leader?
Your group selection confirmation e-mail contains the contact information for your leader. If
you cannot find it, please simply click on your chosen language on the main Language Link webpage to
retrieve the leader’s information.
Where do I go for my group?
You will receive a confirmation email from TutorTrac (the ERC’s scheduling system) once you
have signed up for a Language Link group. Your group’s location will be included in this email. If you
are unsure of the location, please contact your leader as soon as possible.
groups take place in the Yawkey Center for Student Services, 100 Bay State Rd. in either Room 555 or
What proficiency level group should I choose?
Schedule a Language Link group that correctly aligns with your language proficiency. There are
three group levels available: Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced. Novice is designated for students with
little previous exposure to the language. Language Link leaders are not teaching the language, but will
include some discussion of grammatical concepts as well as help interested students refine their current
understanding should they have questions. Students who wish to participate in the novice level should be
registered in at least 1st-semester or ½ year of previous exposure to the language. Intermediate is
designated for students who are more familiar with the language and have had more previous exposure.
Students who wish to participate in intermediate should be registered in at least 3rd-semester or 1 ½ –
3 years of previous exposure to the language. Advanced is designated for students who are well
acquainted with the language and wish to achieve near-native fluency. Students participating at this
level should be able to coherently converse in a well-organized manner without the need of any aid
and/or other resources. Students who wish to participate in advanced should be registered in at least
5th-semester or 3+ years of previous exposure to the language.
I sign up for a Language Link group?
Go to the TutorTrac website: erctutor.bu.edu
Enter your BU login name in the User Name field and your Kerberos password in the Password field
(similar to how you log into Student Link).
Select the Search Availabilities option to the upper left of the TutorTrac screen.
Choose Language Link in the first drop-down menu.
Select the language and level you would like to participate in.
You may adjust the parameters of your time availability by clicking on the days you are available and
the time ranges you are free. We recommend that you leave the range as is so the system generates the
maximum number of group possibilities.
Click the Search button at the bottom left.
When you find a group that works for your schedule, click on the time and a new window will open.
Select the reason for wanting to participate in a Language Link group from the options listed.
In order to give the Language Link leader a better idea of what you expect from the group, we strongly
encourage you to add notes for the Language Link leader in the Notes section.
Click Save and you will have signed up for your selected Language Link group.
What do I do if I can't find a group that fits my schedule?
Please fill out the Language Link Special Request Form to
request a group level and time be made available to you.
Please note that we do not guarantee your request will be met, but we will make every attempt to help
I'm a staff member who has not previously taken a course at BU.
I want to sign up for a Language Link group, but I can't log in. What do I do?
encouraged to participate in the Language Link program. If you are unable to log into the TutorTrac
website, please fill out this form
. You will receive an email when your account is set up.
How do I cancel my Language Link group?
If you have signed up for a conversation group and later realize you are not able to attend,
or wish to switch the level you are signed up for, email your leader and let them know. You will need to
email your leader at least 24 hours prior to the start of your scheduled appointment in order to cancel
an upcoming appointment. If you email your leader after the 24 hour window, you will be marked missed.
What does it mean to be marked missed?
Missed means that you did not attend a session as scheduled (either you did not come to the
appointment or you were more than 15 minutes late). It is the policy of the ERC that once you have 2
Missed appointments, you will be unable to attend any future sessions until you have come to the office
and spoken with one of the ERC’s professional staff about your attendance. If you feel you have received
a Missed notification in error, please see the next question.
I do if I get a missed appointment email, but I was at my Language Link group?
If you feel
you have received a Missed appointment notification in error, or if you have any questions regarding
Missed appointment emails, please email your leader as soon as possible.
If I had any missed appointments last semester,will they be counted against me this semester?
Your Missed appointments only count against you for the current semester; all Missed
appointment records are reset to zero once the new semester begins.
There are so many resources at BU like tutoring, writing help, and more!
Explore all of your options with our academic Resource Guide: