Monday Conversation Group

By Dale.

Conversation Groups meet weekly, and that makes this type of group special. We get to know each other well by talking about our families, our lives, our interests… in English! And we share experiences of being new to Ann Arbor: where to shop and places to visit.

When we share experiences, we learn from each other. Leaders often ask, “What did you do on the weekend?'” and the variety of activities gives everyone ideas for what to do in the future. Someone tells about picking strawberries, and everyone wants to know where? Can children participate? How long does it take to get there? This expands from discussing Ann Arbor experiences to travel in Michigan and to other states.
Some groups enjoy field trips: picking apples and having cider at an orchard, visiting the Botanical Garden, looking at things in an antique shop. Usually in the spring there is a tour of the University of Michigan Football Stadium for members of all Conversation Groups.  Some groups enjoy meeting in a cafe and others prefer the weekly meeting space in the community room of a bank or a church. Everyone enjoys a pot luck in the leader’s home or having lunch together at a restaurant. Of course, these are the activities which have been eliminated by the corona virus pandemic, but we look forward to them in the future.

Picnic in the park back in July

Conversation about everyone’s home country, and discussing holidays is a wonderful learning experience. Sometimes holiday traditions are similar and sometimes different, but always fun to compare. Talking about food, clothing, gifts and celebrations gives everyone a picture of each country. Sometimes when we meet on ZOOM, from our homes, we can show things that relate to our topic. For instance, when talking about food, we can show the ingredients or special utensils used. We used to bring things to meetings, but we can now show them on ZOOM.

There are six Conversation Groups: one for beginning English, others for intermediate level or “all levels” of English. However, there is great flexibility in English language levels and all are welcome in all groups. Each group is different, as the leaders have different styles, and the group members influence the activities. One group is very low key, and the leader e-mails idioms and proverbs to the members weekly. A new Conversation Group will start which will provide one-on-one conversations via ZOOM. One group had a nursery for children, so the mothers could attend the conversation. As we adapt to the pandemic, there may be other changes, but we are all committed to meeting and offering friendship and assistance to our Newcomers.

Come join us! Read each group description on the website and sign up!

Still have some questions? You can email Dale at conversation@international-neighbors.org

Monday morning Conversation Group