Monday, May 9, 2011

Fun Free Talk: Date Night

I'm always looking for fun ways for students to practice English and learn about Western culture.  Recently I tried a new idea for free talks: Date Night.  The students signed up in pairs (no boys in the class, so we assigned four of the girls to be boys).  I had the "guys" come to my apartment first so I could give them some instructions on how to treat a lady right.  They also got a few daisies to give to their dates when they picked them up.

Then, armed with their flowers and their knowledge about opening doors and paying for dinner and such, the "guys" set off to pick up their dates, who were patiently waiting in their dorm rooms.  Then, since Qufu is lacking quiet, clean restaurants where couples could while away an evening, they all came back to my place.

Once everyone arrived, I gave them some time to brainstorm a new identity.  These girls know each other really well, but I wanted them to have the first date experience of getting to know someone new.  We ended up with a math professor, an exchange student in Paris, and more.  The daters:

I gave them some time just to talk to their date, and I was amused at how quickly they burned through new topics.  By the end of twenty minutes, many of them had already planned international vacations together, and at least one of the couples had discussed children.  I caught a minute of the dinnertime conversation in the video below.  The best part is the end, where Lily (unprompted by me) decides to get her date's phone number.

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