University of Pittsburgh

Language Exchange Program

Publish Date/Time: 
November 15, 2013

From Pat Wysor and the Law School Writing Center 

Language Exchange Program

The Language Exchange Program gives members of the law school community the opportunity to practice a foreign language with one of the LL.M. students here at the law school.  Every year the LL.M. program hosts approximately fifteen foreign students who speak many different languages and have a wide range of educational and legal experience.  Along with practicing speaking a foreign language, participating in this program will give J.D. students an international connection, as the LL.M. students often have prestigious positions when they return to their home countries.

I suggest that the program work like this:  a J.D. student (or a group of J.D. students) and one (or more) LL.M. student(s) meet for one hour at a time and place that is convenient for everyone involved.  During the first half hour, they speak in English, and during the second half hour, they speak in the LL.M. student’s native language.  Students will often stop meeting when their schedules become hectic and resume meeting when they have more time.  Although groups can certainly interact in any way that they choose, it is good to keep in mind that the program is most successful when participants establish a regular schedule and correct each other when they make mistakes.  

For the 2013-14 school year, the languages that the LL.M. students speak and would like to help members of the law school community practice are the following:




Kamba (Kenya)






Tetum (Indonesia)


In addition, any member of the law school community who speaks a language other than English that he or she would like to help others practice should let me know.  I would be happy to announce these languages as well. 

At the beginning of every school year, I send out an email announcing a meeting at which the LL.M. students and other members of the law school community discuss what groups will be formed, as well as when and where they will meet.  If you did not attend this meeting and would like to practice one of the languages listed above, let me know.  If a group has formed, I will get you in touch with members of that group.

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