I am the programs manager at the English Cafe on campus. The programs have struggled and thrived and stumbled and are about to go through some big changes. I’d like to know what people at other universities do to create extra-curricular content, fun content, voluntary content, at their universities. I will post this link on the Facebook pages of KOTESOL and Gyeongsang branch – KOTESOL and a few other places. I am desperate for some ideas and suggestions.
First, I should share what we did during the semester just finishing now.
The Cafe was independently run, so far as food, drink, and management were concerned. Part of the Cafe manager’s contract was that we could run programs in there and she was wonderfully willing to help out.
1) There were daily games hours. Each day, at an appointed time, students could play a board game with the teacher (or shut the teacher out and play among themselves). We have English games like Scrabble and Boggle but also chess, Clue, Othello and others, ranging down in difficulty to Uno. The winner of each day’s game a won 5,000won gift certificate for food and drinks at the Cafe.
2) In previous semesters, we had a daily Simpsons screening. Students could watch, then answer questions with one student a week winning another 5,000won gift certificate for the Cafe. Upper management found The Simpsons too low-brow and we were told to switch to documentaries this year and they didn’t go so well. There were also some technical difficulties – the idea seemed a little boring but each doc should have generated some interest.
3) Once a semester, we ran a Scavenger Hunt. There were four prizes: 20,000, 15,000, 10,000 and 5,000 won in Cultural gift certificates – these certificates are recognized at bookstores and, I think, movie theaters around the country.
4) Posters: Every two weeks, there was a new series of five posters, all on a theme and each with a question. At the end of two weeks, the answers were judged and a student would win a 10,000 won Cultural gift certificate.
In previous semesters, teachers could count student attendance at Cafe events as part of their participation grade. This year, that was no longer allowed and student participation dried up. Really. A few students did very well for themselves as there were few others to compete for the prizes.
Next year, the Cafe will run perhaps two events a semester and we may assist an English Club if one forms. I want to know if your university has an English club, what the students do and what foreign staff are asked to do. I will post further details at this blog and provide links to the Facebook pages mentioned above and summarize the responses I get.
Hope to hear your details!