American Library in Paris Conversation Groups
The Library is pleased to offer English and French conversation groups for Library members. These conversation groups are a way for English and French language learners with an intermediate (B1) or higher level to improve their speaking skills. We invite you to engage in stimulating conversation on a variety of topics and themes moderated by a Library volunteer in an informal and friendly environment.
The guiding principles of the conversation circles are as follows:
- Focus on communication and fluency, not grammatical correctness
- Dynamic engagement (i.e., taking turns speaking, listening actively, being cultural sensitive, etc.)
- Theme-oriented discussions
- Small groups (maximum of 5 participants per conversation circle)
- Learn new vocabulary words for each topic/theme
- Learn formal vs. informal conversation strategies
Conversation groups will be held throughout the year, with sign-ups in September and January. Each conversation group lasts one hour at the Library. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend all sessions. There is no additional fee for joining a conversation group, but you must be a member of the Library.
For any inquiries, please email strategic partnerships manager Pauline Lemasson at firstname.lastname@example.org
FAQs on Conversation Groups
Conversation groups are organized at the Library’s initiative and led by experienced Library volunteers. Conversation group leaders — and participants — have broad discretion on how they unfold. The Library will offer an English conversation group and a French conversation group led by native-speaking Library volunteers. Each conversation circle meeting lasts one hour. See below for the online registration form.
Yes. If you are not yet a Library member but would like to participate in one of our conversation circles, please join the Library before the first session of your selected group or be prepared (and leave enough time) to join or renew at the first session (check/cash/credit card, photo ID and proof of residence required).
Conversation circles are offered throughout the year, with sign-ups in September and January . Conversation circle meetings take place in the Library unless otherwise advertised.
Please come to the first session prepared to chosen topic/theme. Your conversation group leader will have sent over some essential vocabulary words for the chosen topic/theme. Arriving a few minutes early will allow everyone to become acquainted. If you will not be present, you are expected to let the conversation groups leader know as soon as possible, as others may be on a waiting list.
The Library can provide some beverages (wine, juice, coffee, and tea) for the conversation groups meetings, whose participants may also bring other refreshments or snacks. Everyone is responsible for clean-up in Library spaces, including the kitchen.
Please fill out the online sign-up form below to reserve a spot. The conversation groups leader will confirm your participation and send further details.
English Conversation Groups (Spring 2019)
The Library will offer an English Conversation Group led by native-speaker volunteers beginning in April 2019 on Tuesdays from 11h00-12h00. Here are the dates for the upcoming English conversation group meetings:
- 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 April
- 7, 14, 21, 28 May
- 4, 11 June
French Conversation Group (Spring 2019)
The Library will offer a French Conversation Group led by a native-speaker volunteer, Elisabeth Gires, which meets on Thursdays from 18h00-19h00 at the Library.
NOTE: The French Conversation Circle is NOW FULL. Please check back regularly for openings.
About Our Conversation Group Leaders
Clara Siverson (English) is a CELTA-trained English teacher who has lived in Paris for over fifteen years. Outside of language teaching and learning, she has co-chaired the AAWE Refugee Task Force, organized events for the bilingual children of the Association of American Women in Europe (AAWE) and is currently president of that organization. Last spring, Clara led an English language class to individuals from the Association Pierre Claver who benefited from the Library’s Sponsored Membership Program. She has also attended many of the Library’s writing workshops, including those offered by Writer-in-Residence Viet Thanh Nguyen and Visiting Fellow Hala Alyan.
Elisabeth Gires (French) holds a MBA in Management from HEC Paris Business School and a Master Degree in Telecoms from the University of Paris Dauphine. She worked 10 years for Vivendi the media and telecommunications group and then participated in restructuring small companies. Born in New Caledonia, a French Pacific Island, she has been living in Paris for 30 years. She is interested in cinema, media, educational systems, economics and volunteers for social works in her neighborhood.