10 Mar 2021
Online conversation clubs
This new set of free resources is aimed at volunteers supporting adult English language learners and organisations using volunteers in this role. Developed with volunteers with little or no training or previous experience in mind, they will be useful to anyone engaged in delivering conversation-based English language practice.
The suite of resources includes:
- A set of 15 units for conversation club sessions, with supporting guidance on using them to run a conversation club.
- A guide for volunteers supporting English language learners.
- A guide for organisations working with volunteers in English language provision.
- A conversation practice toolkit full of useful ideas, activities and resources.
- A report of the research.
- A set of four supplementary videos.
There is also additional guidance for running conversation clubs online.
What are conversation clubs?
Conversation clubs provide an informal, welcoming space for adult ESOL learners to practise their English, build confidence and develop social connections. Some clubs may be for specific groups, e.g. Syrian refugees, while others may focus on activities and interests, such as cooking or painting. Other service providers may also be involved, such as health services, and some clubs invite in guest speakers and support participants to go on visits and access local services. Clubs may be pre-planned or more flexible, with topics for conversation based on who comes and what they would like to talk about.
Conversation clubs are usually free of charge, but there may be a small charge for face to face groups to cover the cost of refreshments. Where travel costs are a barrier to attendance, these may be covered for participants.
To access the materials, visit the Learning and Work Institute website.