September 2014 - Claremont Friends of International Students (CFIS) provides small conversation groups, “Conversation Partners,” to assist families with English learning. We recently heard from the new coordinator about her need:
Dear Community Friends,
I am the new CFIS coordinator of the English conversation partner program, and I am in need of more community "partners" who would like to volunteer to meet with an international student 1 to 2 hours per week throughout the semester. If you are interested, please contact me at:
If you are unclear as to what the program is, here is a short description:
The English conversation partner program is a program sponsored by CFIS in which international students at the Claremont Colleges sign up at I-Place to be paired with a member of the area to practice speaking English one-on-one. The coordinator of the program matches a student with a member of the community who has volunteered to spend 1 to 2 hours/week meeting the student. The community “partner” and the student arrange where they will meet every week and how they will get there – usually a coffee shop, the Honnold Library café, I-Place, or somewhere convenient to both.
The idea behind this program is that students will improve their English fluency, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and ability to understand spoken English the more they practice speaking with a native English speaker. These are not "teaching" sessions as such, but just conversations. However, this also gives the students a chance to learn about American culture by asking questions about their observations of interactions in class, on campus, or on TV programs. The "partner" can also learn much about parts of the world they may not know by asking the student about their country and culture. It can be a valuable learning experience both ways. And even though the students are all attending college here, some do not have many opportunities to spend 1-2 hours at a time speaking with an American. This practice can make a huge difference over time – a semester, a year, or more – in their spoken English and in their adjustment to life in a new culture. And it can be an enjoyable and valuable experience for the partner as well!
For the partner, some ideas of topics to discuss are:
how the student is adjusting
is the student having difficulty with anything
what interests does the student have
the classes the student is taking
talking about the student's and the community partner's family
holidays in both countries
interesting things to do or see in the Claremont or LA area
I look forward to hearing from you,
Katya Fairbanks, Coordinator
Conversation Partner Program
Article from PVUNA President
Celebrating Our Chapter Interns
A few years ago, Katie Gerecke (currently Pomona Valley Vice President) began recruiting student interns from Pomona College. These days, we have two or three interns working with the chapter and it’s a win/win for us and the interns involved.
This year we have three student interns helping us at our monthly meetings, recruiting younger members, holding campus events, promoting the UN and our mission through social media, participating in advocacy, working with our databases, and presenting programs of their own.
Our veteran student interns are Julius Torres Kellinghusen and Leyth Swidan, shown here with chapter president Mel Boynton. Both have worked with the chapter since 2013 and are campus leaders at Pomona College. In the summer of 2014, Julius is an intern with UNAIDS in Vietnam and Leyth is interning with the US State Department in Washington, DC. Leyth will be studying abroad in Jordan in the fall of 2014, so he will be missed as Julius continues to work with our chapter.
Joining Julius for the rest of 2014 are Pomona College student Sana Kahn and Claremont High School senior Sharon Musa. Sana (pronounced “sun nah”) helped start an arts education non profit “Dear Imagination” in Mumbai, India – where she is working in the summer of 2014.
Sharon won our UNA-USA essay contest this year and plans to organize students at the high school through the Key Club. She is wise beyond her years and a champion orator and debater.
Be sure to say hello to Julius, Sana, and Sharon as you see them in action. Our chapter is healthier and their careers look brighter because we’re working together for a better world. (click here for pdf)
Pomona Valley UNA-USA
We're launching a new
Welcome to the new Pomona Valley UNA website
We’re transitioning to a more friendly and useful web design and ask for your feedback. Our old web information is still here in the archives and we encourage you to explore. If you like what you see, tell us. If not, let us know how we can improve.