by Sally Tiven, English Tutor
Now that NALC staff has brought you together, blessed the union, and provided the book, it’s time to select a venue for the dual endeavor of English study and cultural coaching.
You may be surprised to learn that Target is the preferred study hall of several of my English learners. First, consider the stimulating coffee fumes from the in-house Starbucks, next the proximity to aisles of low priced items that serve as a reward, real or imaginary, to a productive session. And it’s not unusual to encounter friends who stop by our carrel to introduce themselves, thereby providing additional conversation partners for the learner who is typically convinced that her Turkish or Vietnamese English can only be decoded by her One-on-One tutor. Notably, we were treated to staggeringly tall strawberry frappuccinos. It was a misty-eyed barista who did the toasting, reminded by our sprawl of GED notebooks of his mother’s immigrant journey and struggle to learn English. Confidence boosters like these are a bonus to the nuts and bolts of grammar, reading comprehension, and pronunciation we tinker with week by week.
Though the noise level can be challenging, the people watching can’t be beat. When you open your notebooks at Target, having swept stray popcorn kernels from the food court table and ordered a latte or not (thankfully, there’s no two cup minimum here), you become an ambassador for the NALC lifestyle because all of Nashville eventually heads for the big red bull’s-eye.
Check out Sally’s learners accounts of their favorite places to meet!
Panera, by Yoon Kim
Bruegger’s, by Anhminh
YMCA, by Aida
Where do you and your learner prefer to meet?
Let us know in the comments below.