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Conversation Circles
A simple program for your
ESL speaking patrons
Presented at
NCompass Live
March 29, 2017
Elizabeth M....
Hello!Elizabeth Rivera
Reference Librarian
Los Alamos County Library System
Big
A Japanese mother who brought her baby
in to all our baby programs requested a
program to help her practice English.
H...
New
Mexico
36%
National
20.8%
Nebraska
10.3%
Source: https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-22.pdf
× Serving the underserved
× Supporting lifelong learning
× Building community
1.
The PLanning
How we got started
× What is available in the community?
× How are other places doing this?
× What is our primary audience?
× Free ESL classes at UNM-
LA
× Free one on one tutoring
via Río Arriba Adult
Literacy Program
× Most places are using volunteers.
× The programs emphasize a relaxed
atmosphere.
× Little to no focus on grammar or othe...
× We committed to 45 min to 1 hr sessions once
a week.
× Prep time varies between 5 and 20 minutes.
× We wanted to use vol...
× Ask volunteers to come observe /
participate first.
× Provide them with a volunteer
handbook.
Christa will be
posting a
...
× Keep it casual & friendly.
× Encourage equal participation.
× Have backup topics & ideas.
× Make sure they understand yo...
× Primary caretaker for a small child or
infant, may care for older kids too
× May be in the United States only briefly
× ...
× Cross promotion strategy with other ESL programs and
youth service programs
× Used the baby time room, already set up wi...
Flyers &
Handouts
2.
Things that worked
Let’s start with what went right.
× Choosing the right time
& place
× Targeted marketing
× Word of mouth
Acting on an anonymous phone call, the police raid a
house to arrest a suspect. They don't know what he looks
like but the...
At a restaurant you own,
you see a cook drop a
lamb chop on the floor,
pick it up, wash it, reheat it
and serve it on a pl...
“Would you rather. . .?”
. . . be extremely hairy or completely
hairless?
. . . work hard at an interesting job or
relax a...
Get your partner to guess
the word:
PANDA
Without saying any of
these words:
× Bear
× Black & White
× China
× Bamboo
× Zoo
Source: https://www.nytimes.com/column/learning-
whats-going-on-in-this-picture
× Food
× Places to visit in the area
× Health care
× What do you love about your country
of origin
× Native language fluency
in English
× Experienced with
intercultural
communication
× Empathy & humor
3.
Things that Didn’t
work
Let’s look at what could have gone
better.
× Conversation Circles cannot
substitute formal learning and won’t
work for people who don’t have a
basic vocabulary.
× One morning we had about 14 people
at the session, plus babies.
× Our evening sessions consistently
had only 1 or 2 part...
4.
Our Results
How did we do?
Our
Library
Honduras
México
Chile
Colombia
China
Japan
Turkey
France
Bulgaria
Ecuador
Palau
39Sessions for
FY 15-16 165Total
attendance
Sessions for FY 16-17 started September
13th with a core group of attendees fr...
26Sessions for
FY 16-17
(So far. . .)
96Total
attendance
“This is a safe place
where we can
express our opinions”
“It helped me to know
that there are more
people like me and that...
THANKS!
You can email me at:
elizabeth.rivera@lacnm.us
NCompass Live: Conversation Circles: A Simple ESL Program
NCompass Live: Conversation Circles: A Simple ESL Program
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NCompass Live: Conversation Circles: A Simple ESL Program

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NCompass Live - March 29, 2017
http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ncompasslive/

Learn how Los Alamos County Library System put together a simple, cost-effective English conversation program for patrons who wanted to practice their English speaking skills. Conversation circles are not English classes: you don’t need ESL teachers, a registration system or a fancy curriculum. We’ll show you how we put it together, what worked, what still needs development and share resources so you can develop your own conversation circles program.

Presenter: Elizabeth Rivera, Reference Librarian, Los Alamos County Libraries, Los Alamos, NM.

Publié dans : Formation
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NCompass Live: Conversation Circles: A Simple ESL Program

  1. 1. Conversation Circles A simple program for your ESL speaking patrons Presented at NCompass Live March 29, 2017 Elizabeth M. Rivera Los Alamos County Library System
  2. 2. Hello!Elizabeth Rivera Reference Librarian Los Alamos County Library System
  3. 3. Big A Japanese mother who brought her baby in to all our baby programs requested a program to help her practice English. Hello! こんにちは
  4. 4. New Mexico 36% National 20.8% Nebraska 10.3% Source: https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-22.pdf
  5. 5. × Serving the underserved × Supporting lifelong learning × Building community
  6. 6. 1. The PLanning How we got started
  7. 7. × What is available in the community? × How are other places doing this? × What is our primary audience?
  8. 8. × Free ESL classes at UNM- LA × Free one on one tutoring via Río Arriba Adult Literacy Program
  9. 9. × Most places are using volunteers. × The programs emphasize a relaxed atmosphere. × Little to no focus on grammar or other technicalities , except for what’s necessary to communicate.
  10. 10. × We committed to 45 min to 1 hr sessions once a week. × Prep time varies between 5 and 20 minutes. × We wanted to use volunteers, but used staff until we could train them. × We used volunteers from our existing volunteer pool.
  11. 11. × Ask volunteers to come observe / participate first. × Provide them with a volunteer handbook. Christa will be posting a copy!
  12. 12. × Keep it casual & friendly. × Encourage equal participation. × Have backup topics & ideas. × Make sure they understand you & each other. × Remember that intercultural communication is more than just language.
  13. 13. × Primary caretaker for a small child or infant, may care for older kids too × May be in the United States only briefly × Varying degrees of language proficiency × Seeking both language development and social connection
  14. 14. × Cross promotion strategy with other ESL programs and youth service programs × Used the baby time room, already set up with a “baby corral” × Planned sessions around the school calendar × Flyers & handouts that clearly welcomed kids
  15. 15. Flyers & Handouts
  16. 16. 2. Things that worked Let’s start with what went right.
  17. 17. × Choosing the right time & place × Targeted marketing × Word of mouth
  18. 18. Acting on an anonymous phone call, the police raid a house to arrest a suspect. They don't know what he looks like but they know his name is John and that he is inside the house. The police bust in on a carpenter, a truck driver, a mechanic and a fireman playing cards. Without hesitation or communication of any kind, they immediately arrest the fireman. How did they know which person to arrest?
  19. 19. At a restaurant you own, you see a cook drop a lamb chop on the floor, pick it up, wash it, reheat it and serve it on a plate. Do you reprimand the cook?
  20. 20. “Would you rather. . .?” . . . be extremely hairy or completely hairless? . . . work hard at an interesting job or relax at a boring job? . . . be the best dancer in the world or the best singer in the world? WHY?
  21. 21. Get your partner to guess the word: PANDA Without saying any of these words: × Bear × Black & White × China × Bamboo × Zoo
  22. 22. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/column/learning- whats-going-on-in-this-picture
  23. 23. × Food × Places to visit in the area × Health care × What do you love about your country of origin
  24. 24. × Native language fluency in English × Experienced with intercultural communication × Empathy & humor
  25. 25. 3. Things that Didn’t work Let’s look at what could have gone better.
  26. 26. × Conversation Circles cannot substitute formal learning and won’t work for people who don’t have a basic vocabulary.
  27. 27. × One morning we had about 14 people at the session, plus babies. × Our evening sessions consistently had only 1 or 2 participants.
  28. 28. 4. Our Results How did we do?
  29. 29. Our Library Honduras México Chile Colombia China Japan Turkey France Bulgaria Ecuador Palau
  30. 30. 39Sessions for FY 15-16 165Total attendance Sessions for FY 16-17 started September 13th with a core group of attendees from last year.
  31. 31. 26Sessions for FY 16-17 (So far. . .) 96Total attendance
  32. 32. “This is a safe place where we can express our opinions” “It helped me to know that there are more people like me and that I don’t need to feel embarrassed” “It’s a social time for us but it’s also a social time for the kids- they can make friends and play”
  33. 33. THANKS! You can email me at: elizabeth.rivera@lacnm.us

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