Feedback about English conversation workshop

ESENIORS Association



Summary. 1

Reports about the Thursday workshops at Daviel Youth Center Paris 13ème. 2

Subjects or items for discussion. 7

Dissemination. 14

Satisfaction survey and feedback from students. 17

Useful bookmarks. 18




The English conversation group held weekly at Café Daviel from 2 - 4 p m is based on the theory that adults learn English faster in a low pressure environment that is convivial and fun.

Each week we either start or finish with a bit of nonsense in the form of jokes or sayings or a review of some publication or telling about our vacations or reviewing the new words our scrabble game presented.

If the coffee machine is working and the group is small we purchase our own refreshments, if the group is larger we make coffee and tea and pass the cookies.

Participants change each week with a few regulars and others who come when they can work around jobs and travel to help family.

This is often the case with seniors.

We have developed a mailing list of fourteen plus 6 staff who help from time to time - four being native English speakers.  Total 20

The group is animated by a native speaker (American) who has been present all but one time.

Average attendance is about six people although the group has grown to as many as nine at times.

We have tried to incorporate technology but the participants did not like computer games and sports and outside speakers.

Our attempt to do conversation around film has not materialized due to technical problems at the site.

I feel that the group has bonded and that a solid 7 - 10 people are committed to continuing the process.

We now have refreshments and basic dictionaries and scrabble boards housed at Daviel so it is less difficult to set and clean up.

We meet in an open space which seems to attract interest of others who use the center.

In order to acknowledge different levels of competency in English we have two scrabble games going, one 

at a beginners level with extra staff helping the weakest people playing.   We do this if we have at least six people 

present.  We allow newcomers to play in French for at least three times if they want to.  Almost everyone has 

chosen to play in English after the first time.  We lost one participant whose mother language was Spanish and

who was weak in both French and English although we told her she could pay in Spanish at first.


Reports about the Thursday workshops at Daviel Youth Center Paris 13ème


Example of weekly reminder :

Bonjour !

On vous attend ce jeudi pour une partie de Scrabble + de la conversation anglaise au :

Centre d'Animation Daviel

"Café Associatif Seniors"

    24, rue Daviel 75013 PARIS

 (métro Glacière - ligne 6)

Si possible, envoyez-nous un mail pour nous prévenir de votre participation au :

Merci, et venez nombreux (bring your friends) !

Mark, Betty,Palden,Denis et Laurence

P.S. On aura les dictionnaires pour les "tricheurs" !




Workshop on  04/10/2011 ***********************************************

We had three very pleasant ladies joining me and later on Mark


We looked at funny things printed out  from the web, i.e. senior tee shirts, and a few jokes


Mostly we used a book of American sayings entitled Grandma Always Said to see if they worked in French


I thought Jean Michel might want to incorporate some of them in his heritage and memory project


work more and talk less   discuter moins, travailler plus


elbow grease      huile de coudre  or huile des bras


a woman's work is never done     une femme fait trois journées en une


Francoise is from Poitiers


Marie is from Marseilles and Aix en Provence and remembers the Mairie burning


isabelle is from Lyon and remembers bombs and the children loving it


these are of course world war II memories


15/10/2011 ***************************************************************

The Paris project meets at a community center in the 13th arrondisement of Paris - rue Daviel


Sessions are scheduled between 14:00 and 16:00 on Thursdays


Six sessions have been held, usually every week


to date seven active participants have joined us


In total four of the Paris staff have participated, 3 volunteers and one paid staff


We have utilized jokes and funny senior tee shirts found on the web, grandmother sayings in

English searching for their equivalents in French, sharing birthplaces and  determining who

might have memories from World War II for our heritage project, and scrabble


Scrabble is the favorite.  We play it in both English and French but discuss words only in English

When we have more than four people we start a second game.  If the café area is noisy we move

to the art gallery.


Sometimes we share snacks or purchase them from the center machine having decided that organizing

our own café is probably not necessary or worth the effort of cleaning up.  We may change this.


The coordinator has asked to hold off asking participants to purchase tickets at five euros each until

the group has solidified


Of the seven participants in addition to four staff and volunteers and three onlookers

one has returned 3 of the six times

2 have returned twice

2 have been there only one time


The volunteer coordinator has been there each time for consistency


Last session the three participants expressed concern that we would not be meeting again for three

weeks because of vacation and staff involvement with another project

They directly asked to continue with scrabble rather than do computer memory or computer generated

exercise programs


A professional photographer asked permission to photograph a scrabble game



we were playing scrabble : 3 goups of 2 partners. The animator was JMD and I assist him with pleasure.


I have been the lucky man who won the party with my partner.



******************* december 15, 2011*

the english conversation group met at betty abugheida's home because she is confined due to foot surgery


7 people were present including three students, the program director, the animator and another english speaking assistant, and a frenchman who will be participating in another EU program in strassbourg in january


the students brought cider and wine and home made apple tart, the hostess provided tea and coffee and special items from the cameroon and the czech republic and the director brought home made cookies from the alsace


we conversed about our travels to sudan, egypt, and elsewhere and had a good time


the director presented us with a new scrabble game purchased at an english bookshop in paris


the group will reconvene the second thursday of january at rue daviel from two to four p m


betty abugheida

december 15, 2011


january 12 2012

first session for this trimester

daviel 14 – 16 h

total attendance - 7

5 students and 2 animators (Dennis A and Betty A)

2 new students and 2 regrets


Marie France  Moussouri

played scrabble, used dictionaries, discussed preference for next time

group wants to see a short film and discuss in english

I asked secretary to speak with Mirielle friday to reserve the room with a screen recommended by dennis

good spirit and conversation


who can help with selection of film and technology for presenting and/or direct the discussion

Diana?  Jean Michel, Olivier? Didier   January 19



daviel 2 4 pm january 19 2012

three former students and one new one gathered

Dennis, mark who arrived late, palden, and I making a total of 8

we tried to get the film working but to no avail

Olivier passed later and said he would purchase a new connecter and help next time

we will bring dvd's that can be shown as back ups

while waiting we discussed stories in the new newsweek magazine

with little prospect of a film, we set up two tables of scrabble

Palden was especially helpful with the new person whose english is weaker than the others

He is very patient.

new      said he would come back again



report english conversation TANT cafe daviel

26 January 2012


six people attended

3 students and 3 staff (betty, denis, palden)

I tried to start a conversation about the program as outlined by francois holland but no one interested or uninformed

denis tried to bring up the film with no success

played scrabble at a beginners level since all attending were rather weak in english but about same level

two people - denis and slimane - helped other people

palden and betty will bring dvd's next time to be sure the film project works

new student -   - her husband sent her - he is in one of the e senior classes



Thursday 2 February 2012

9 participants - 5 students and 4 staff (denis, mark, palden and betty

one new student coming from one of our classes - laurence de kermadec -

To be added to our mailing list please

We had trouble with the film showing once again but we did a few quotes from

 "Age doesn't matter unless you're a cheese" and set up two games of scrabble

The hot drink machine was out of order so we made coffee and tea and dug into the special cookies.


english conversation Thursday February 9  2012

8 in attendance  five students and three staff

played two games of scrabble

made coffee and tea and served cookies

compared and discussed list of new words learned by each group

one new student - esmerelda reyes

she is from columbia and knows mark and teaches spanish to one of the participants

staff present mark, denis and betty




February 16th

Three participants and two staff watched clips of well known movies in the computer room

Denis brought them up on the computer and projected them onto a larger screen

Although this was an interesting deviation, it did not lead to much conversation

The last 40 minutes we went into the café area and purchased drinks and ate cookies and chocolate brought by one of the participants

We looked at some photos and text from the fifties but the word were a bit difficult for the group

We agreed that there would be no class for three weeks - during the school holidays


Some picture of Betty and Mark


Subjects or items for discussion







Café associatif pour seniors






L’association E-Seniors

propose tous les jeudis de 14h à 16h


au Centre d'animation Daviel 
 24, rue Daviel 75013 Paris



Conversation anglaise  avec Betty


Discussion sur le thème des aidants familiaux à l’occasion de la 1ère journée nationale, en présence de professionnels / Philippe


Pratique de la conversation anglaise autour du  scrabble / Betty


Jeux numériques de stimulation cognitive et physique  / Didier


                  *****  Vacances Toussaint   *****


Pratique de la conversation anglaise en chantant  /  Betty et Jean-Michel


Jeux numériques de stimulation cognitive et physique  (KINECT)    avec Jean-Michel


Pratique de la conversation anglaise autour de sketchs comiques (extraits de films) avec Betty et Didier


 Jeux numériques de stimulation cognitive et physique  ( WII et jeux LLM sur écran tactile)  avec Didier


 Pratique de la conversation anglaise autour du  scrabble / Betty


Jeux de stimulation cognitive et physique  /   Jean-Michel


Conversation anglaise autour de sketchs comiques (extraits de films) avec Betty et Didier


Renseignements  : 

01 45 89 05 99



Satisfaction survey and feedback from students

In English and in French




Martine Grayden to me



Not the tinny less !!! I simply looked up on the  "Wordreference"  Website and I could not find it....Thanks Mark !!!

- Hide quoted text -

 Martine On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 1:58 PM, Mark Konick <> wrote:

Um, are you sure?


On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 9:46 AM, Martine Grayden <martine.gra  (at)> wrote:

...and I am afraid "um" does not exist !!!



Mark Konick to Gigi, bettyabugheida, bcc: Françoise, bcc: Monique

show details 11/11/11


Yes, you could have won! Hopefully, next time we will come with the official Scrabble dictionary! Best, Mark

- Hide quoted text -

On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 9:41 AM, Gigi J <jojosian (at)> wrote:
Many thanks Mark. I'll add it in my personal dictionary.
Too bad it's too late =  Il could have won ...

Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 00:19:53 +0100
Subject: Scrabble Word Finder

Josiane: "quin" is a word!


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