Jiyeon wants to learn to play golf. Jeehye recommends trying snowshoeing. Mikyeong plays classical guitar. Sungyun loves sudoku. And Phyllis, who facilitates this conversation group of Korean women, makes a fabulous artisan bread!
Want to find out more? Just read their blog HERE.
Phyllis White started the conversation group in early 2020. A tutor since 2018, she found that regardless of her ESL students’ different skill levels and learning styles, their overall goal was similar. She explains, “They are here with their family. They want to be able to integrate into the community and communicate.” For Phyllis, starting a conversation group was a natural next step.
The group bonded quickly. While their English language skills vary, they can help each other since they all speak Korean. They feel a commitment to each other. When one group member could no longer meet during school hours because her children were in virtual school at home, they began meeting later in the day for what became “happy hour.” (Phyllis, who owned a graphic design business for ten years, even created a happy hour logo!)
As the year went on, Phyllis was looking for new ways to keep the group engaged online. She was finding it challenging because each student has a different technology system and a different skill level with technology. She found Google Workplace, which has been a platform they can all use. Phyllis guided the group through the Google platform until they were set up and ready to blog.
Students post their stories and picture on the blog, based on a prompt given by Phyllis. They also comment on each other’s posts, which provides more practice with writing and conversation. The blog also includes a group calendar and study materials.
Phyllis has enjoyed harnessing her creative skills into the blog. It has become a special “place’ for the group during this busy and complicated year. “The website has really helped us take a moment for us and connect and go from all the work to the fun.”
Phyllis is thrilled about the positive response from the students. Mikyeong says the blog is a “very, very great experience” and “she [Phyllis] encourages me always.” Sungyun agrees. “I have many stories. I want to share my story.”
Sungyun sums up the group best. “We are very synergy.”