Middle Tennessee State University is helping international students get better acclimated to American culture through an ongoing program where willing students can practice their English-speaking skills in a conversational setting.
“Culture and Conversation” is an hourlong gathering held at 2 p.m. every Monday at the MTSU Writing Center third floor of the James E. Walker Library in Room 362.
The program is not only a useful resource for students of different cultural backgrounds who may use English as a second language, but it can also be helpful to International Relations or Global Studies majors who want to learn about different cultures.
This year’s coordinator is Savanna Teague, a graduate student with a master’s in history who is currently working on her Ph.D. in English with a focus on film studies. Teague has been an adjunct professor teaching English and history at MTSU and also serves as a tutor for the university’s Writing Center.
“The program is designed to make students of different cultures feel comfortable here at MTSU,” said Teague. “Since we are in the form of a group, students are able to perform better than they would in a classroom.”
How does it work? While sitting in a circle, each person around the table gets to talk and listen to other students of different backgrounds. Activities such as ice-breakers are used to prompt discussion.
Teague feels that a primary goal of the program is making everyone who attends feel comfortable engaging with others while also practicing English and sharing their experiences.
Attendance at “Culture and Conversation” is free. To find out more, contact the MTSU Writing Center at 615-904-8237 or visit the center’s website at http://www.mtsu.edu/writing-center/.
— Keundrea Simpson, student intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)