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Conversation Partners

Dates: see syllabus
Points: 40 (10 each for 4 sets of conversation logs)

This course has a lecture and test component, but mostly it relies on experiential learning. As the major requirement / centerpiece of this course, you need to have conversations with people your age who grew up in a foreign country.

There are enough students at Medaille from Asian countries to work with all of you, and of course Hoonmin has all of you to talk to.

For some of you, this will be easy and fun. For others, not so much. I assume you wouldn’t be taking this course if you weren’t willing to talk to foreigners. That doesn’t make it less scary to begin or less frustrating to continue. That’s one reason I am assigning several students to each country, creating teams. Doing this with another student can help, and I encourage you to do so.

Medaille’s international students have already done what I’m encouraging you to do, go to a foreign country and immerse yourself in the culture. They had a language obstacle to overcome that you don’t. They had to learn English, a foreign language very different from theirs.

Modes of conversation

Ideally, all of your conversations will be face-to-face.

To set up these conversations, you have the usual text and voice options. In the past, Facebook message boards have seemed popular. If you wish, you may use video or voice communication, for which you have two good options. I am always on the look-out for another. They basically do the same thing, let you establish a video, voice only, or text connection. You can share files, too.

Skype – If you haven’t used it, download it, get a username, and try it out with a classmate. There are Skype apps for every device.

Google+ – If you already have a Gmail account, this is the video conferencing that I would recommend. If you don’t have a Gmail account, I recommend that you get one.

Google Hangouts: The Ultimate Guide

For me, the challenge comes in documenting your conversations. It is divergent learning because everyone will learn different things.

As much as I dislike paper, I have found that the students favor it over an online form, though you’re welcome to send me this information via email. Just copy the Conversation Log below, paste it into an email, and add your information.

I will have an inexhaustible supply of the form below with me in class. However, if you run out or can’t find yours, you can print out the .doc or .odt version.

As you can see, you will fill out one of these forms for every conversation that you have.

Printable Conversation Log .doc format | .odt format

 Conversation Log

Your name __________________________________________________________

Date of conversation _________________

Location(s) __________________________________________________________

Begin time __________________

End time ___________________

Conversation Partner’s name _____________________________________________

Conversation Partner’s email _____________________________________________

Other people involved in the conversation (when applicable):


Topics of conversation:





Quantify the conversation:

______% chit-chat

______% dealing with technology

______% sharing media (websites, personal images, videos) whether or nor relevant to HUM 300

______% substantive conversation about topics related to the content of HUM 300

Quantify the comprehension, considering both what you understood and what you think your partner understood, using your expectation of the same conversation with a native speaker of your language as 100%:

______% understood

Characterize the conversation in a word or two (ex: helpful, fun, serious, frustrating):


What’s one thing you would do differently?