Conversational English and American Culture: a Delicious Combination

May 30, 2017

As summer approaches the thoughts of outside activities in the warm weather begin to surface for us all. Some day dream of going to the beach other hiking. Still others dream of barbequing and having a picnic with friends. This day dream became a reality for the Olivet ESL students this past weekend.

Students and their families were invited to an ESL BBQ off campus at one of their instructor’s homes, Sarah Ahrens. This activity was a great way to break up the final weeks of the school year and add some additional enthusiasm to the program before summer. As students work hard to improve their language skills it is also important to celebrate success and acknowledge the dedication that each student has to their studies, what better way is there than with food and fellowship?

This event also offered the students some out-of-classroom practice in listening and speaking English. In addition to Olivet students and family, other ESL instructor and members of Sarah’s church were also invited. This created an opportunity for the ESL students to meet more people from the community and practice their conversational English in a real life setting outside of the classroom. While talking with others from the local community students were able to share their testimonies, talk about college life, learn more about American culture, encourage others as well as be encouraged by others.

As with any event food is of the utmost importance and the ESL BBQ had a traditional fair. On the grill itself students grilled hot dogs, chicken, pork, and an assortment of vegetables. There was also a variety of salads for students to try. Salads ranged from potato, Jell-O, bean, fruit, and green salad. The desert was not forgotten either, in total 43 people attended the ESL BBQ and no one went home hungry.

In addition to meeting new friends and experiencing the typical food of an American BBQ students also played an assortment of fun outdoor games. Games are a great way to break the ice when meeting new people and if someone’s language level is low it is a fun way to be able to interact without the pressure of language.

The ESL BBQ party was a success for many reasons but most importantly it was a way to build community amongst fellow believers. To build the bonds of our “church body” and to work and have fun together as “one body.”