The Recruitment and Student Engagement department and Global Committee of UNMC, in cooperation with the Foreign Languages and Literature and Counseling department of The University of Nebraska at Omaha has formed the Conversational English Groups program. CEGs is aimed at providing an opportunity of practicing academic and conversational English language skills in small group settings for international students, fellows, scholars, residents and their dependents to help them “come closer to American English.”
Participants are provided with information and resources during each session and on the Facebook page of this program. They reflect on their experience by using Mood Barometer at the end of each session and midterm evaluation has also been carried out with specific learning outcomes. This new program has provided a mechanism to build the academic and conversational English skills that contribute to effectiveness in the communication by exploring the strengths, limitations and sharing knowledge and understanding of American English with the group facilitators.
Twenty-seven participants are enrolled in this program and average 7- 8 have actually participated in each session. These participatory sessions have covered several topics for discussions such as, knowing preferred names of the participants and its meaning in their own culture, pronunciations of each other’s names with revisions in a group exercise, meaning of separable, transitive phrasal verbs and writing practice of sentences composition by using these verbs, use of simple, past, and progressive tenses in the sentences, American culture, food, international travel experiences, and issues related to English that is used in daily life.