TEA time helps international students with language
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:10
It’s an hour of conversation, games, tea and cookies. But besides being just a social atmosphere, it’s time is a way for international students at USU to improve their communication skills.
The Writing Center hosts a weekly Teaching English Afternoon, or TEA Time every Tuesday from 3:30-4:20 p.m. Here, international students can have conversations, ask questions and play games in a way that helps them improve their English speaking skills.
“We’ve done it for several years, it’s just had a little bit different form,” said Susan Andersen, associate director and senior lecturer at the Writing Center. She said the events were called “conversation socials” in previous years. Grad students and tutors would teach concepts about the English language and American culture.
“It felt too much of a teacherly kind of thing in the classroom,” Andersen said. “I think they were doing too much teaching and not enough talking,” she said.
She said the time is all about letting the students talk.
“That’s what we really want to do, so we give them opportunities to talk and discuss things,” she said.
Andersen said throughout the years, different tutors have taken the lead.
“We thought it was time to rebrand it with a new name and just do it in our center so it doesn’t feel like we’re in a classroom,” Andersen said.
She said serving tea has been popular among the students.
“We serve tea and cookies, and I think the international students especially appreciate that because it’s kind of a common thing in the afternoons for different cultures,” Andersen said.
Lindi Andreason is a tutor at the writing center who helps with TEA Time.