Language Partners Creates Conversation

The Mizzou Women’s center hosted a Language Partners event on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.  Language partners helps create dialogue between native and non-native English speakers. Participants played a game to show similarities between everyone despite their different backgrounds. “When we first got there I felt very different from everyone else, but after a little while I felt more similar. We did a little game thing where you had to say something about you and people had to stand up if it applied to them. Obviously the point is to see how you have stuff in common with people that you don’t expect to at all, but it really worked and it was cool,” said Ivy Hettinger, MU sophomore.

The participants then broke into small groups for conversation. In small groups they had conversations about Black History Month, what they did over winter break, and various cultural differences and similarities. The groups then broke into pairs to have individual conversations

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Dina Adel, MU sophomore, is from Cairo, Egypt. She listens while another student talks about her most recently read book during a small group conversation at the Language Partners event on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. Language Partners “pairs one native English speaker with one non-native English speaker. The pairs get together once a week for a minimum of one hour and practice conversational English. The program is a great opportunity to learn about another culture and make a new friend. The focus of the program is to assist the non-native English speaker with their conversational English, awareness of North American culture and knowledge of living in Columbia, MO,” according to the Mizzou Women’s center Website. (Scene Setter/Relationships)
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Emily Pai is a second year master’s student at MU from Taiwan. “Language is the hardest part about being (in America) because I have to work very hard to finish my assignments and another hard thing is making friends with native classmates,” Pai says. (Portrait)
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Pai pounds her hands on the armrest when she thinks of an answer to a question on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (Detail)
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Sherri Hsu, a second year master’s student at MU, is from Taiwan and has been at Mizzou for a semester. Hsu said that she came to Mizzou “because I wanted to be an exchange student and my advisor had a connection (to Mizzou), so he approached me and said, ‘Do you want to go to the U.S.? They have more details and techniques that you can learn from,’ so I thought why not because America is so big and I want to learn more about the technical (aspects of my major), so that’s why I came here.” (Portrait)
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Ivy Hettinger, MU sophomore from Chicago, and Hsu both fidget with their hands while listening to another person speak on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. “Meeting new people was fun. There was one girl there from Taiwan who I talked to, and she was saying how she really misses the food at home which I could definitely relate to. Plus, I don’t do a lot of activities like (Language Partners), so the whole experience was new and I liked it,” Hettinger said. (Detail/Closer)
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