mapa mundo


The conversation topics in “Just Talking” come from eight years of organizing and facilitating a conversation club designed for residents and newcomers to Canada.  The idea grew out of two convictions.  Many newcomers to Canada get little chance to actually sit down and talk to local English speakers or to ask them questions.  Secondly, we who are at home here are aware that our fore-parents were once immigrants who struggled with language and culture. We wanted to give something back in gratitude by practising hospitality. We are a nation of immigrants.

The “club” met once a week for English conversation, coffee and laughs. The group varied in size, usually from fifteen to thirty.  A lot of us started out thinking it was all for the newcomers and found out that it was also for us.  As we conversed with brilliant young people from China and Columbia, Japan and Korea they opened our eyes to their cultures and our own idiosyncrasies.  They came with dreams and for different reasons:  to study, for better jobs, for family and peace and freedom, some for the sake of their children.  We, trying to be helpful or just lonely, were blessed with new understanding and new friends. Some returned to their countries of birth and invited us to visit them. The world is a smaller and warmer place because of our shared experiences.

Using the topics

Ideally conversation takes place one on one or one on two. Go for fluency, not perfection. Take rabbit trails, especially if the topics are passions of the learners.  The purpose is to converse not teach.  Be honest, answer questions honestly, point to sources when you don’t know answers. Add local and current events. Be ready to laugh at yourself and with one another. Have as much fun as you can!

Read 1131947 times Last modified on Monday, 24 February 2014 05:58
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