Since the late 20th century globalization has become a worldwide trend and English is by far the
language of choice for international communications. Hence, learning English as a lingua franca (ELF)
is a pressing issue for many non-English-speaking countries. In response to this issue the program “EZ
TALK,” pairs international graduate students on campus with domestic college students in an informal
setting to engage in casual conversations in English in a NNS-NNS (non native speaker of English) pair
work format. It provides the participants with a simulated environment where English is the only way
to communicate, and thus encourages participants to practice oral communication skills.
The objectives of this study aim to explore the learning attitudes of the participants and to
measure the program effectiveness in improving their oral communication skills. Through quantitative
research methods this study found that most “EZ TALK” participants had a clear focus on developing
the skills of English listening and speaking when coming into the program, but with certain learning
preferences and difficulties. This study also showed that the program was effective as an extracurricular
aid in improving the oral communications skill of the participants. Based on the research results,
specific suggestions are provided for further improvement of the “EZ TALK” program design.