In fall we launched ‘Conversation Club’, a weekly 45 minute session led alternatively by 5 FIE staff members. The aim was to provide an opportunity for non-native speakers of English to practice their speaking and listening skills. We also welcomed native speakers who wanted to gain confidence in their speaking. The Club was advertised to FIE staff and students as well as students from Frances King King School of English. The format is quite straightforward: the facilitator prepares ‘input’ in the form of a newspaper article, music or video on a given contemporary topic. Topics included healthy eating, social media, banning the veil, origins and meanings of British holidays and sport around the world. A semi-structured discussion is led by the facilitator on the topic. Light refreshments are provided.
We are pleased to announce that the Club proved to be a roaring success. Fifteen different individuals participated in the Club throughout the term, and the average session had six participants. Thanks to the hard work of Julie Andreshak-Behrman, Gabi Kubasiewicz, Rebecca Kayes, Damien Kempt and Hannah Feakes the feedback from the meetings revealed that participants were appreciative of the enthusiasm and excellent preparation of the facilitators, the opportunity to speak in a comfortable environment, and to chat with people they would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. Many thanks also to the Facilities Team for their commitment to promoting the Club.