Hi everyone, Mike here. I hope you’re not suffering too much from the summer heat, and found some time to relax during obon!
On August 06, we had our first student ‘coffee chat’ event based on the concept of ‘speed chatting’. This was a free event, and was designed to give Agos students some extra speaking practice in a relaxed environment. It was great to see everyone chatting confidently and having fun, and the teachers enjoyed it too!
What’s ‘speed chatting’?
Basically, the speed chatting format allows students to speak as much as possible, and to work with different students and teachers. It went like this:
- We had three groups of four/five students, each with a native speaker teacher in the group (me, Danny Robinson and Jim Giguere joined this event).
- A question (similar to TOEFL Independent Task 1 and 2, or IELTS Part 1 questions) was put up on the screen.
- First of all, the students had a chance to listen to the teacher answering the question.
- Then, each student spoke in turn.
- After each student spoke, the teacher gave some detailed feedback.
- Each student had the opportunity to talk about the same topic twice.
- Then we mixed everyone up into new groups, and changed the topic.
- We had tea, coffee and snacks throughout the two-hour event.
What did the students think?
Here’s some of the feedback from the participants:
- “It was very helpful to get lots of feedback, and there were a lot of chances to listen as well. It was a very productive time!”
- “It was a good chance to practice as I don’t have much opportunity to speak to native English speakers and get feedback.”
- “This session helped me to find some things I didn’t know about, such as linking words and phrases together.”
- “It was great! I hope this event takes place more frequently. The open, relaxed environment enabled me to join the conversation, and it helped me to build up my confidence.”
- “By having this opportunity to speak casually, I was pleased that I could find my weakness. Now I know what I need to study more.”
Are we going to do it again?
Definitely! We are going to run the event on Friday 08 September at 19:00-21:00. The event is open to anyone who has already taken or is currently studying on a TOEFL Speaking Strategy/23 Toppa course, or IELTS Speaking Core/Advanced course. The maximum number of participants will be 16, so please register soon if you’re planning to attend. You can do that here:
Hope to see you there!