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Communication Cafe

Our activities help students whose first language is not English to feel confident expressing their ideas orally. Vocabulary building and development of critical thinking are emphasized. Topics include:

  • Canadian literature, history, and politics
  • persuasive presentations, interviews, and debates
  • scientific discoveries
  • business ethics and personalities
  • vocabulary games and dramatic role-play
  • art and photography

Café workshops will give you practice in speaking at length, arguing a point, and participating in group discussions. Our cross-cultural atmosphere is very welcoming. Native speakers of English may also participate, and many students returning to university after an absence find our activities helpful. New members are welcome at each meeting. Come to one café, or come to all!

The Communication Café will meet next from January 7 – February 27, 2019

The cafés take place for the first seven weeks of each term. During each of the seven weeks, students have a choice of times, locations, and topics. This activity is FREE.

Winter 2019 Communication Cafe schedule

No registration is necessary; please just drop in. You may vary the times you attend as well as the locations, and you may attend as many cafés per week as you like. New members may join at any time. Students from all colleges in the Faculty of Arts & Science are welcome at any session. It is OK to arrive a bit late or leave early if your class schedule conflicts with a café. Light snacks are served at all cafes.  Please bring your own drink. 

ELL Peer Mentors Program:

Please see the link on our home page for a full description of the program.  ELL Peer Mentors assist in the Communication Cafés as volunteer group discussion leaders.  (There is always a writing centre instructor present as well).  There are approximately 15 spaces available each year for new peer mentors.  Peer Mentors may volunteer for two years if they wish to continue. You do not need to speak English extremely well in order to be a Peer Mentor.

The ELL Peer Mentors Program will welcome applications again in October 2019.  Watch this website for further details.  Note that ELL Peer Mentors must be involved in learning additional languages, whether English or another language.  Applicants must also have attended the Communication Café at least three times or completed one of the ELL mini-courses. Good attendance at the Communication Café is considered an asset.  Peer mentors can earn a certificate and a CCR notation upon successful completion of the program.

Certificate of Participation:

Attend regularly to earn a Certificate of Participation, which will be noted on your Co-Curricular Record at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. To earn the certificate, students must attend a minimum of six café sessions over one or more terms.  You may attend more than one session per week.  You may also attend cafés at any location, or change the location where you attend at any time.  We have different instructors and different peer mentors at each location, so come and meet us all!  

Any cafés you attended last academic year will count toward the Communication Café Certificate this year. 

The certificate recognizes the following:

  • contributions to student life (e.g., welcoming new participants, fostering positive interactions among students, etc.)
  • qualities of good leadership (e.g. problem-solving and encouraging others, using creativity and humor, etc.)
  • improvement of language skills over the term or year