26 February 2013
As some of you may know, I am the CMU ELI's Conversation
Partner Program coordinator. For the past two months, we have joined with the ESL Association on campus and held two game nights. During these evenings, students have come to practice speaking English while playing games. Some bring their (American) conversation partner, some just come with their ELI friends. We eat pizza, play games, chat, and have a good time.
Usually I bring games with the president of the ESL Association, but during the most recent evening, one student brought a game... he even told me that afternoon that he was going to buy the game so that he could share it with the other students! Have you ever played Sequence? It's very fun and not language-based, which is good for lower-level students. Of course. I don't really have many games that aren't language-based... do other English teachers have this same "problem"?
Some of the other games we've played are Scrabble, Scattergories, Pictionary (large group), Uno, Bingo, Euchre, and Apples to Apples.
These game nights have been a pretty big hit with the international students at the ELI. Last semester I tried holding these events; however, they weren't well attended. But this semester, a lot more students have been attending. I think providing pizza is a pretty big incentive! We plan to continue these meetings, maybe even going bowling next time!
If anybody has ever held an event like this before, I would love to hear your suggestions. If you're looking to hold an after-school event, I suggest good advertising and free food for maximum attendance.