Полоцкий государственный университет

Polotsk
State
University

On October 5, 2018, English Speaking Club started working at the Centre for Foreign Languages Study at PSU. The first meeting had a motto “Breaking the Ice”. According to the opinions of both the organizers and participants, the goal was fully achieved.

Olga Zhuravskaya, Head of the Centre for Foreign Languages Study, started the evening with the words: “We are here to speak English and spend the evening in a good company. That is why… let’s have a cup of tea and help ourselves to biscuits!” The evening was an informal one.

The first meeting is always an acquaintance. Not to make the participants feel uncomfortable, they were invited to write numbers, verbs and nouns that were somehow connected with their personality. For example, the participants were to guess how the number 3 was related to the pretty girl who wrote it on the board, or why a tall young man wrote the word “cake” on the same board. The answers might be the most unexpected: from “It was the first thing that came to my mind” to “I wish I could bake cakes”.

The participants worked in pairs and groups, shared their impressions of the day, told each other about their preferences, gave compliments and asked questions. The communication was easy and there were a great variety of ways to complete the tasks. It should be noted that the moderators didn’t have to remind the participants that they were to speak English. The club members decided to use the opportunity to communicate in the language they studied and forgot about Russian for an hour and a half.

The tasks were prepared in the way that they didn’t resemble ordinary exercises and the listeners did all the tasks with enthusiasm. Judging by the feedback from the participants and the lecturers’ own feelings, they managed to make the lesson different from the classroom learning.

Olga Zhuravskaya commented on the event: “I believe that it was a great beginning of the club and I hope that we will continue working in the same way.”

The participants had the same wish. They had only positive impressions and wished to continue the meetings, make them regular and even more frequent. The students were also surprised that their command of a language was not graded and they could be independent and test their knowledge. This allowed to make an atmosphere of natural linguistic environment, which was the main aim of the organizers.

Here are some of students’ impressions:

Nikita Boltrushevich, engineering technologist: “The outgoing and charismatic lecturers managed to create a friendly atmosphere at once. In many ways, the event was a successful one because of the active audience, and tea with biscuits created a homely atmosphere. I’m grateful to the organizers for the opportunity to practice English and I’m looking forward the next event!”

Yelizaveta Smolenskaya, Faculty of Finance and Economics, group 18-LG: “The atmosphere was very friendly at the Speaking club. It was fun and interesting. I liked that I found new friends and spent time nice and profitably. I will definitely come to the next meetings.”

Yulia Maulikayeva, Faculty of Finance and Economics: “I liked everything very much. Homely atmosphere, good company. I have only good impressions. I will definitely visit such events in future!”

Ruslan Chernyavsky, Faculty of Mechanics and Technology, group 16-TNG: “I enjoyed the atmosphere and the auditorium. And I didn’t like the only fact that I didn’t understand some words or phrases, but that’s not a big problem. I will come to such meetings if I can.”

The following meetings of the club will be dedicated to various topics. Besides, the meeting will be held in different forms: quests, debates and others. Furthermore, everybody will have an opportunity to sing karaoke and try themselves in stand-up. The organizers promise to take into account the requests of the course participants.

The Centre for Foreign Languages Study organizes not only the Speaking Club. There will be three club meetings every month: Speaking club, where the participants can communicate, Grammar club, where the participants will learn the most useful for real communication English grammar and Movie club, where the participants will be able to watch a film in the original and discuss it in a good company. The announcements about the time and the place of meetings are available in the official group VKontakte. To come to any meeting, you should comment the post with the announcement. The places are limited for the convenience of the participants.

The Centre for Foreign Languages Study would like to thank everybody who came to the first meeting of the club and reminds that its staff will take into account all the proposals, which can improve the work of the club and make our pastime more useful, comfortable and enjoyable.

Centre for Foreign Languages Study