Conversation Club is an informal club for practising speaking English and gaining confidence and conversation skills. It is a format used in public libraries, but with the added imperative of having ‘conversations that matter’, of talking about personal, political and social issues, and trying to get to grips with how the things that affect our lives are connected to the bigger picture.
We started the club in Manor Park Library, and moved to Rabbits Road Institute where the group continues to meet. Over one year, topics of conversation included money, work, health, living in London, your education, friendship, travel, the NHS, your history of speaking English, the internet, tourism, ownership, political parties, the European Union, food and shopping. We also went on educational trips to the Houses of Parliament and Chelsea Physic Garden.
Conversation Club meets every Thursday 2-4pm at Rabbits Road Institute, no booking required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Conversations That Matter
This small publication considers ways in which we might learn collaboratively and democratically, and what the political implications of this are. As the culmination of our weekly Conversation Club at Rabbits Road Institute, we asked both ‘what’s political about learning English?’ and ‘how can we learn English politically?’. We explored these ideas in a group conversation Institute along with members of the club and Dermot Bryers, CEO of English for Action, an ESOL agency which blends participatory adult education and community organising.
Published and edited by The Alternative School of Economics
Designed by An Endless Supply
Illustrations by Rosie Traina
Photographs by Hydar Dewachi & Amy Feneck
Commissioned by Create London
Supported by Arts Council England and London Borough of Newham