This semester I’ve started an English club, meeting at lunch on Wednesdays. It’s just for students in my department who want to practice their English outside of class time (whether that’s my class or an English language class).

I have really wanted to do this for a while, but my eagerness quickly changed from “this will be great!” to “wait, how do I do this?” How do I help a room of 30 students practice a new language, feel comfortable enough to attempt something difficult,  and actually make an improvement all while eating lunch and in 45 minutes?

Suggestions welcome!

In the first week I asked them all why they wanted to be in an English club.

Student 1: Because I want to learn about all foreigners’ perspectives.

Me: All foreigners’ perspectives?

Student 1: Yes, all!

Me: But I’m just one person!? One American person. I don’t know all perspectives, just my own.

Student 1: Oh, right.

After the first week and actually this conversation, I realized that *wait, hold the phone:  it is not my responsibility to answer ALL their language needs, just like I can’t be ALL foreigners.  Sometimes I can just make things SO much more difficult than they need to be!! A little English club is not going to make them fluent but can be one part in each of their journeys towards fluency. And it can be fun- fun in relaxed way that “class” cannot be. phew.

Here are some of the other responses to the question “Why do you want to join this English club?” (we’re going for content here, not grammar!)

  • I want to learn speaking for travel and international friends.
  • Because I want to develop my English speaking so I will go language student in foreign countries and I want have a lunch time effectively.
  • I want to study English speaking and free talking with foreigner friend. Because this social must have needed. I think important speaking more than writing.
  • I wanna learn more natural English communication. Also, I wanna share each others culture. So I want active, natural time. Also, I want to introduce Korean style, culture to you.
  • For my future! I want to meet many people and I will become global designer.
  • I don’t speak English.
  • I want to speak English well. So I want to study English at the first opportunity. Then I like Karin teacher (*^^*) So when I speak English, I am terrified/remove.
  • Because English is important language that find employment.
  • First, I practice English because English is world language and it’s not a choice but it’s necessary. Second, I can focus on major subject. Third, communicate with other grades.
  • English communication very well/and I want to do. I want to meet new friends.
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