English and French 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.

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
  • 15 participants maximum per group
  • Learn new vocabulary words for each topic/theme

Conversation groups will be held throughout the year, with sign-ups in September and January. Each conversation group lasts one hour at the Library, unless otherwise noted. 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.

To to register, fill out the online form below. For any inquiries, please email Communications and Outreach Manager Carolyn Dubol at dubol@americanlibraryinparis.org

FAQs on Conversation Groups

The Library will offer an English conversation group and a French conversation group led by native-speaking Library volunteers. Conversation group leaders — and participants — have broad discretion on how they unfold.  Each conversation circle meeting lasts one hour, unless otherwise noted.  Space is limited to 15 spots, which will be filled on a first come, first served basis. If the group is full, you will be put on a waitlist.

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.

Your conversation group leader will be in touch with information about the first session. Arriving a few minutes early will allow everyone to become acquainted. If you will not be present, you are expected to let the conversation group leader know as soon as possible, as others may be on a waiting list.

Please fill out the online sign-up form (English or French) below to reserve a spot. We will confirm your participation and send further details.

English Conversation Groups (Winter 2020)

The Library will offer an English Conversation Group led by Clara Siverson, a CELTA-trained English instructor, from 14h00-16h00 on Saturdays. Please note: The English conversation group sessions will last for two hours. Here are the meeting dates for the Winter 2020 English Conversation Group:

  • 11, 18 January
  • 1, 8, 15, 22 February
  • 7, 14, 21, 28 March

NOTE: Registration is required to attend the meetings, and there is a maximum of 15 spots available. Please fill out the online form below to register. For more information, email Communications and Outreach Manager Carolyn Dubol at dubol@americanlibraryinparis.org. 

NOTE: THIS GROUP IS CURRENTLY FULL AND IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.

French Conversation Group (Winter 2020)

The Library will offer a French Conversation Group, led by Nadine Akhund, from 17h30-18h30 on Wednesdays. Please note: The French conversation group sessions will last for one hour. Here are the meeting dates for the Winter 2020 French Conversation Group:

  • 15, 22, 29 January
  • 5, 12, 19, 26 February
  • 4, 11, 18 March

NOTE: Registration is required to attend the sessions, and there is a maximum of 15 spots available. Please fill out the online form below to register. For more information, please email Communications and Outreach Manager Carolyn Dubol at dubol@americanlibraryinparis.org.

To sign up for the French 2020 group, click here:

About Our Conversation Group Leaders

Nadine Akhund (French) is an academic, historian and accredited Research Associate at the Sorbonne-IRICE institute. Born and raised in France, she lived for several years in New York where she taught at Columbia University and worked at a trilingual school in Brooklyn. Nadine holds a Ph.D. in Modern and Contemporary History from the Sorbonne Paris IV University. Her latest book, En Guerre pour la Paix, Alma Editeur, Paris 2018 offer an innovative perspective of the Great War from a French American perspective.

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.