STUDENT LED CONVERSATION CLUB
RESOURCE TOOLKIT FOR AMERICAN SPACES
This Resource Toolkit is designed for American high school and university students to create virtual or in-person Student Lead Conversation Clubs (SLCC) at American Spaces worldwide. These clubs are facilitated by American students interested in participating in a cross-cultural exchange, helping international students improve their English, and fostering meaningful cultural exchanges.
WHAT IS AN AMERICAN SPACE?
With over 620 locations in more than 140 countries, American Spaces are open – access cultural centers that serve to connect foreign audiences with the United States through American culture and the English language. An American Space, in addition to providing free access to a variety of English-language resources, also hosts programs to help local communities improve their English, learn about American culture, and more!
WHY SHOULD I LEAD A CLUB AT AN AMERICAN SPACE?
Are you interested in interacting with students your age from different countries? Would you like to practice your leadership skills and share your culture with others?
Participating American students get direct access to local students whose lives are likely different from their own. In addition to forming genuine interpersonal relationships, this volunteer work will help participants and facilitators gain important communication skills and have fun.
A Student Led Conversation Club (SLCC) is meant to create authentic environments for local teenagers to practice their English skills with native English-speakers, while giving them first-hand access to Americans. For example, local participants can learn about the U.S. university admissions process or American culture, while student leaders can learn about local culture from their members. The aim is for both groups to grow in their understanding of the other.
Possible SLCC Topics, Explainer Video, and Best Practices – American student Allie Holmgren who put together this SLCC toolkit, has also shared suggested topics, a video, and best practices on how you can run one of these clubs. It’s important to remember that when you are leading these clubs at American Spaces to let everyone know that you speak as a private citizen and not as a U.S. government official.
This is a fun way to play trivia games virtually. You can make your own trivia games and play them with a group virtually.
This online multiplayer game is similar to Pictionary, where players guess what someone is drawing as they draw it.
Baamboozle is an online platform with a collection of ESL games. These games range in difficulty, from the very basic to the much more advanced. This is best for smaller groups, as 4 players can participate at a time.
Here are several fun games for learning American English, either virtually or in person. This is a helpful tool for members who want to improve their grammar and vocabulary.
What is a Student Led Conversation Club (SLCC)? This program is hosted at American Spaces where native English-speaking students build relationships with local students who seek to improve their English and to learn more about America. A typical SLCC meeting will last around an hour. American facilitator and local students will converse on a broad variety of topics serving as a bonding experience for both parties. While local students benefit from getting to improve their spoken English with native English speakers in a low-stress environment, student leaders are able to learn more about the country they’re living in from locals their own age.
What Do I Have to Do to Lead an SLCC?
The American Space will help organize logistics in terms of finding participants and setting up the platform, which can be done in-person or virtually. You will be responsible for facilitating the conversation. With the programming kits, you will find suggested topics and platforms are provided; yet, once the students begin to engage, the program tends to run itself!
How Is this Different from an English Club?
This is different from an English Club in that it facilitates a more casual and lighthearted environment for local students wanting to gain more experience with spoken English abilities. It is by students, for students. Moreover, by focusing on conversation, SLCCs present a less academically-oriented program with less emphasis on reading and writing, though reading materials and discussion boards are available. The primary focus is always to get local students comfortable with having conversations in English, although there is a focus placed on the cultural exchange that benefits both parties.
The views expressed in these links and resources do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. government.
Updated April 2023