Mesa de Conversación Summary

Mesa de Conversación provides an opportunity to use the target language in an informal, low-pressure atmosphere. Students have fun practicing the language they are learning. They gain confidence through experience. This semester most of the student have realized that using their new language skills helps them learn more than they thought. 

In Mesa de Conversación, students from all levels meet at the Starbucks on the Statesboro Campus to practice their Spanish skills. I believe that students feel safer here. In big classrooms, students can be intimidated to speak. I hope they feel more comfortable here than in the classroom, so they can learn and practice with peers, especially the more reserved ones.

Every other week, we have a new theme and/or topic to discuss, students practice speaking and listening with other attendees. There are different conversational quizzes to get people to talk. The instructor prepares games or conversation topics for students to use during the session, students practice their oral Spanish skills by doing role-plays, interviews, board games, and different performances. The main goal of the Conversation Table is to practice oral Spanish. 

Besides, each conversation meeting is an opportunity for students to make new friends, pick up some new vocabulary, and most importantly, gain confidence when speaking another language.

After a few semesters offering Conversation Table by Zoom due to COVID-19 students were ready to attend the sessions in person, so this semester every meeting was a success. We have created a small community of Oral Spanish Practice/ Learners or how we usually call us: la familia de español (the Spanish family). 

In the last meeting, some Georgia Southern Students who weren´t currently taking Spanish joined us for some practice, and after the session they were saying that it was so much fun and productive to practice their Spanish oral skills in “real context” situations. We welcome everyone to join, the only requirement is to be willing to practice Spanish.

– Professor Teresa Buzo Salas