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Copy of Workshop for Conversation Group Facilitators

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karen bates

on 15 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Workshop for Conversation Group Facilitators

... for your interest in facilitating a conversation group at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library. Thank you! Conversation groups are a fun way to give back to the community while meeting new and interesting people. Conversation Groups encourage
language acquisition. Adults learning English need to practice
listening and speaking skills in an environment
where they feel comfortable making mistakes. Communicating meaning is the primary goal -- by demonstration, use of pictures, gestures, drawings, mime, smiles, and great intuitive leaps! Conversation Group Facilitator's Role Foster, encourage, and facilitate conversation in a social setting. Ideal qualities for a Conversation group Facilitator
include: * Patience

* A good sense of humor

* The facility for listening and drawing out conversation

* A tolerant ear that can decipher an assortment of sounds

* A reluctance to have conversations end with polite smiles and no comprehension

* Interested in and accepting of differences in culture

* Commitment to lead conversation groups for 1 hour per week for a 9-month period What Conversation Group Faciliators
do NOT do Facilitators do not teach in a traditional sense. They do not instruct participants
or assume a role of authority. Facilitators do not teach lessons on structured speech. The facilitator encourages discussion by asking questions, listening and ensuring everyone has an opportunity to speak. Conversation group participants should do most of the talking. Topic Selection:

How to decide what to talk about * Ask participants about topics of interest

* Negotiate future topics at the end of each session

* Bring topics to the group & allow the group to select their favorite

* Encourage group members to share discussion ideas & initiate conversation Topic Selection:

Topic Ideas Popular topics of discussion with
friends, family, and co-workers:

* Family

* Food

* Holidays (American and international)

* Local events (farmers' market, parade, etc.)

* Using public transportation

* Shopping Conversation Activities:

Get People Talking Include several different kinds of activities so that participants have

a chance to ask questions, explain, discuss, and problem-solve Goal: Make introductions & get people talking.

Good warm-ups are short, easy to explain, involve everyone, & usually relate to the main topic of the session.

Example: Ask participants to introduce themselves and answer a question (What did you eat for breakfast today?), share a fact about themselves (hobbies), or draw a picture (favorite pet). Framing Framing provides participants with a structure
for sharing information and allows them to
practice common phrases. For example, when discussing
favorite foods, a facilitator might
use the frame "I like to eat..."
Each participant would start
sharing by saying,
"I like to eat..." A more advanced group of students may be interested in enhancing the conversation with materials such as newspaper articles or short stories. Reading Comprehension Summarizing reading contents, asking questions, reviewing vocabulary, and using key phrases are ways to foster verbal communication. Drawing may help to communicate
objects or ideas for which the participant
does not yet have vocabulary. Group Size Change the group size.

Usually easier to talk one-on-one,
rather than in front of a large group

Try beginning a conversation with a
one-on-one speaking activity. Warm-Up Activities Drawing may help to communicate
objects or ideas for which the participant
does not yet have vocabulary. Goal: Make introductions & get people talking

Short, easy to explain, involve everyone, & usually relate
to the main topic of the session Ask participants to introduce
themselves & answer a question
(What did you eat for breakfast today?)

Share a fact about themselves (hobbies),

Or draw a picture (favorite pet) Framing Framing provides structure for sharing information & allows
practice of common phrases. Role Plays Allows participants to practice regular activities
or explore a topic with a different voice Examples: grocery shopping,
visiting the library,
banking, or
using public transportation

Physical objects such as cans,
boxes of food, or
library books can be used for

INSPIRATION! Drawing Drawing may help to communicate
objects or ideas for which the participant
does not yet have vocabulary. For example, when discussing emotions,
participants can draw faces to represent
different emotions.

Participants will learn new vocabulary --
and, hopefully, get a good laugh out of
their pictures! Reading Comprehension A more advanced group of students may
be interested in enhancing the conversation
with materials such as newspaper articles
or short stories. Summarizing reading contents,
asking questions,
reviewing vocabulary,
and using key phrases are all
ways in which the written
materials can foster verbal
communication Resources: Using
Visuals and Objects Nothing stimulates language better than seeing
& holding the actual object while discussing it.

Pictures, photographs, drawings, objects

Cookbooks, an atlas, books on animals can
aid conversation.

Children's books often have the best pictures.

Encourage participants to bring pictures for a
discussion. Communication Contact your Volunteer Coordinator if problems arise.

If you will not be able to attend a session, please
give as much advance notice as possible. Other Responsibilities Please complete an attendance sheet &
timesheet each session.

Attend continuing education workshops. Additional Resources
for Facilitators Newcomer's Almanac - in the binder at the
Reference Desk

What Every Immigrant Needs To Know

Look in the Lake - "communicative pronunciation card
game for 3-5 players"

Example conversation questions online at
http://iteslj.org/questions/ -- questions on 100s
of topics Additional Resources for
Conversation Group Participants For students interested in attending English
Language Classes, the library maintains a list
of nearby classes.

Books, audio CDs, & ebooks

Byki, an excellent online language learning program

Please encourage participants to ask at the
Reference Desk if they have Qs or need assistance Thank you!
Full transcript