Hello sexy boys and girls, and Ed, hope you all had a great holiday season. :-)

It's been a while since we had a real Language Exchange meet up, with everyone being away or busy with the holidays, and me being a slacker.  But now that everything is settling back down, let's start this back up again.  I miss your sexy faces.

How does next Tuesday, Feb 21st work for everyone?  Let's do it at a Sculpting in Time again to start things of ... either the Gaoxin one or the Shida Rd one.  Y'all can vote on that.

Newcomers, you are welcome to join us.  These meetups are very laid back and a good way to meet new friends.  We can't promise that you'll actually get to practice a foreign language but I'm sure you'll have a pretty chill time :-)

You all down?

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Charles ! It's about time we see you again !

Charles didn't show up.  Booooo.

Thanks for coming out everyone!  I had a great time :).  In hindsight I should have prepared better, the Language Exchanging part didn't work too well, but I did managed to get a list of common mistakes when learning English and Mandarin.  I'll put that up in a bit.

- Bravo to Amin for being able to remember everyone's name and their hobbies ... all 19 of them!  Amazing :) 

- Werewolf (Mafia) doesn't work too well with a bunch of girls, they don't like to argue too much in a social setting.  I also noticed a pattern, Amin always get killed pretty early in the game.  I wonder why that is ... Bravo to Ed and Brent, the two werewolves that managed to kill all the villagers.

- We finally get to play JungleSpeed using the correct rules!  Amin is like a ninja, with lightning speed reflexes.

Hmm...I've mentioned Amin in all three bullet points.  Guess you were the mvp of the night :)

Sorry Huey Ly

 I completely forgot, :-/p>

I hope there will be a next time

Haha no problem man.  Maybe next time.

Yes, we had fun ! But ... a few things.

I personally hate showing up on time only to wait for an hour for the rest to arrive and then spend 10 minutes on language. Especially when I have to sit around in an overpriced place like SIT that doesn't have a good cheap beer.

Werewolves simply needs a different setting that adds to the atmosphere and people that play it for the first time won't analyse and discuss too much. I guess we shouldn't have taken out Amin at the start. That would have made it much more interesting. Jungle speed was awesome though.

Huey, I really, really appreciate you organising these things, but as for myself ... by now I´d rather go to the Belgian Bar to play some Jungle Speed over a good glass of beer than go through this ordeal again.

Yea, it's kinda annoying when nobody bothers to rsvp or let me know they're coming so I have no idea how many will be there.  It would help me organize better.

But dude, be like Buddha, stop sweating the small stuff!

It all depends on what your expectations are I guess ...

As I've said before, I would like to learn something at the LE and I rarely do. By now I don't need the LE anymore to meet all you lovely people because we have so many other fun events at which we meet. Which makes me wonder what the added value of the LE is for me personally. LE was excellent for getting to know all of you and I'm glad I participated. But with all of the other socialising going on and the LE not really serving the purpose you started it for ... I'm not sure if I will attend again.

Yeah I kind of have to side with Ed on the language thing.  Props go out to Huey for organizing the event and everything, and its usually a good deal of fun, but I kind of feel that I come out of it not learning too much.  The conversation just seems to gravitate towards English, which is probably helping the Chinese that speak enough English to follow it, but its not really helping the newer people's who's English really isn't good enough to contribute much, or the foreigners who want to practice their Chinese but don't have much opportunity.  

I think all that is needed is just a little bit more structure.  Have certain activities where only English is spoken and certain activities where only Chinese is spoken.  That will eliminate the uncertainty of what language to use and will make sure that everyone gets to practice a bit.  Also, I think since the group has grown a lot since the language exchange first started, I think it would be useful to break people up into small groups.  That way people who's language skills aren't that great might not feel so intimidated and would be willing to speak a little bit more and practice.  Because at the end of the day that's what its all about, that's the value added thing that Ed was talking about.  People are looking for a chance to actually speak and use their language skills on a level that's appropriate for them, and I think if we can structure the event to reflect that people would get a lot more out of it.  

:-) Well, I forgot 1 or 2 of the hobbies, and only remembered when they gave me some clues!

Werewolf: I am like an actor who acted as the bad guy in his first movie and now everyone expects to see him as the bad guy in every other movie! Since I was the werewolf in the first (Online) game, now they think I am always a potential werewolf! I could try to defend myself by saying: "I haven't been werewolf for the last 3 games, I can be a villager too" But that is another reason for them to vote for me; "After 3 times being a villager, it is your turn to be the werewolf again." So I guess they will continue this until they can kill me as a werewolf. Maybe then, when they have had their revenge, they will act normal again.

LE: Our Chinese friends, have all studied English is high school and university. All of them have a minimum level of English. They have already learned all the Grammatical rules. They mostly want to improve their listening and speaking skills. So this "Learning by Conversation" method we have now, is good for them, provided they participate actively in the conversations, which is up to them. (This is my opinion, of course you can ask the Chinese friends to see if they think the same.)

But the Waiguoren, have a very wide range of Chinese language proficiency. Some are starting to learn just now, and some have already studied Chinese for 1-2 years. It is not easy to prepare a lesson that is useful for everyone. I like Brent's Idea of breaking people up into small groups. I think 2 groups (Beginner and Intermediate) is enough. Then, either we can have a Chinese friend teach us something (like a classroom, with Powerpoint or on a blackboard), or just choose a subject and talk about it. During which, the Chinese friends will correct our grammatical mistakes and teach us new words related to that topic. But we need rules, like: "No English in the class" and "everybody HAS TO participate in the conversation, we can speak in turns." If the Chinese also talk (slowly!) about the topic it will become an Oral & Listening class at the same time. I have experienced this method (Both for leaning English and Chinese), and if it is done properly, it is one of the best ways to learn a language. And we won't need a teacher or someone to prepare some material for the class every time.

Thank for all the suggestions.  They're all really great ideas.  I should have thought of breaking people up into smaller groups yesterday.  Will try to implement your suggestions in the future.

also, I think people should give more good suggestions



I think Amin's idea is great, and maybe the topics could be chosen previously, via TX, you can have polls here, right?

that way people could take a look on the words they would use, or something like that

prepare themselves for LE




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