This week’s conversation club session had around 15-20 participants and 9 volunteers and was held in the small room downstairs in the CRMC. We had 2 activities and one warm-up exercise.
The aim of the icebreaker was for participants to analyze and discuss their methods of learning. They were all given a sheet of paper with statements of different learning habits and they had to put true or false depending on if it fit their learning profile. This gave them a chance to share learning techniques and practice their communication skills. This was a very successful warmer and participants seemed enthusiastic to talk about their habits and what they usually do to learn English.
After that we continued with the first activity which was to listen to a short conversation and answer a few questions. Participants said they really liked listening comprehension exercises and this one went very well except we had a small problem with the sound. Despite this the exercise went smoothly and most participants were able to answer the questions.
Following that we took a break which made room for casual conversation between participants and volunteers. Some used the break to ask questions about words, expressions and grammar in previous exercises. It was mostly those at a beginner level who were asking for further explanation which was a good opportunity for them to get extra help.
In the second activity, we divided the participants into two groups according to their level. Then each group got a funny story with a few questions and one discussion question for each story. The beginners got the easier story and the participants at a more advanced level got the harder one. After they completed the questions one from each group had to retell the story to the whole group and thanks to the division the beginners group seemed more confident in doing so and sharing the stories also contributed to a more joyful atmosphere. The division was very successful and participants seemed to get the most of it that way. This activity was very popular among the participants and some said it was the best exercise of the session.
We ended with a few minutes of feedback where participants expressed a lot of gratitude and said they were very happy with the sessions. They did, however, point out that the room was too small and would prefer the bigger one upstairs. One participant felt claustrophobic and left. They also said they would like more listening exercises and perhaps activities that would improve their pronunciation. After this we took a group photo.
Overall the session went very well and participants enjoyed it despite the small room. The division of participants was really successful and encouraged them to actively engage with the exercises and made them more confident to participate. They liked the activities a lot and expressed an overall eagerness to learn more and were very thankful over the sessions.