ESOL taster sessions lead to language cafe

ESOL taster sessions lead to language cafe
Steve with ESOL students

Forth Valley Student Association President Steve Kemlo has been touring the campuses visiting the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes – in the hope that an exciting new ‘Language Café’ can get up and running.

As well as explaining how the FVSA can support them, Steve has been organising fun conversation sessions, where students can get together and chat about a topic. It has led to the announcement that the first Language Café will take place on Tuesday 19 December. However, no food and drink will be on offer at the café and the only thing being served up will be interesting and engaging conversation!

Students of different countries – Ukraine, Sudan, Syria, India, Afghanistan, Spain, Moldova and Poland, just to name a few – have been taking part in the language sessions, getting to know each other and sharing aspects of their culture.

Steve explained, “I hope to create a regular student-led language café where students from different parts of the world can share their culture and learn more about Scottish culture over a cup of tea or coffee.  The topic of food was chosen for our first pilots as food is universal and everyone had lots to talk about.”

ESOL Lecturer, Duncan Carmichael, helped to schedule Steve’s visits and gave students time in class to meet.  He said, “This is a great opportunity for students to practise their speaking and listening skills.  Students have thoroughly enjoyed meeting Steve and finding out about FVSA and his role.  ESOL students are often part-time or only attend in the evening and so don’t feel included in the wider College community.  They really appreciated Steve taking the time to visit them and are excited about a regular chance to get together.”

Steve added, “Helping non-native speakers feel more included was part of my election manifesto and helping to organise cross campus language cafes will help isolated students from minority backgrounds meet other students and have fun. 

“It has been a great success, with students asking to become involved in planning future events for non-native speakers across the whole College. With my support, we have organised a Language Café for Tuesday 19 December.”

The first planned Language Café is earmarked to take place on Tuesday 19 December at the Falkirk Campus (Antonine Suite – To Be Confirmed) from 11.05am – 12.55pm. Any non-native speaker is welcome to join the ESOL students and can contact me on for more details.