Conversation circles aid language development at North

by | Feb 17, 2017 | Campus News, News

Daniel Mitri
News Reporter

For non-native English speakers looking to improve their language skills, Humber offers conversation circles to encourage students in their everyday speech.

Cameron Redsell-Montgomerie, Humber College coordinator of the North campus Math Centre, overlooks the conversation circles. He said the workshops provide students with a safe space to ask questions and to develop their speaking abilities.

“We are really trying to give students what they want,” said Redsell-Montgomerie.

Conversation circles are driven by the demands of the students and there is discussion to assign themes to sessions, which would help improve specific language skills.

Kai Butterfield, a peer mentor at the Math and Writing Centre, leads many of the conversation circles, and works closely with students to better their language skills. She uses questions to encourage students to discuss things amongst each other and expand their conversation skills.

“Students really enjoy it,” said Butterfield, noting that students are more encouraged when they get to see their success.

Students work on conversational ability by describing scenarios, working on interview questions and speaking about their own cultures and hobbies.

The interview questions are especially useful for students as they finish school and begin to look for work. The conversation circles allow students to become more comfortable in interview scenarios.

Redsell-Montgomerie said there is a high demand for the conversation circles, and they see a great number of students attending.

The workshops are promoted through one-on-one sessions with non-native English speaking students, as well as through word-of-mouth passed on by faculty.

“We are trying new and varied ways to promote the conversation circles around Humber campus,” said Redsell-Montgomerie.

Conversation circles are offered five days a week at different times, and are located on the third floor of the North campus LRC, in the Dan Andreae Math & Writing Centre.