The Global Lounge’s Language Café gives you the fantastic opportunity to meet new people and practise your language-learning skills – for free – in a fun and friendly environment, with fellow students and staff. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an advanced learner, everyone is welcome. Join us in the Lounge every Wednesday (during term time) and practise whichever language you feel like on the day!
There are also free hot drinks and snacks to be found at every Café session to help fuel your learning!
– When and where
Wednesdays during term-time:
- 2 to 3:30 pm (English practice only)
- 5 to 6:30 pm (multilingual practice, including English)
Find us in the Global Lounge on the first floor of Senate House (Tyndall Avenue).
– How it works
The Language Café is hosted mainly by volunteers, who are either native or fluent speakers of different language(s). Each week we suggest a theme for discussion (such as travel, traditions, music, food) to help you learn something new on every visit, and provide related session plans to give you and your volunteer a conversation starting point!
Every language has its own conversation group and where possible we divide groups by language level, from beginner to intermediate+. We try our best to keep our conversation groups small so that everyone gets a chance to speak, but unfortunately cannot account for last minute volunteer drop-outs or rushes.
– What languages we offer
We offer whichever languages are spoken by our volunteer community. Currently, we have 150+ Language Café volunteers representing over 20 languages! Relying on student volunteers means that every academic year we get gain new languages and lose others. For this reason, we encourage you to apply to volunteer if your language is not currently offered (find out more below).
– Where you can find out available languages
As the availability of our volunteers changes each week, so does the list of available languages. Hence, we only upload the language list to the Available Languages webpage by the Friday before the Café. Please note that any last-minute changes, such as volunteer absences, might not be reflected in the language list.
We generally leave volunteering applications open, at least until we have a large enough volunteer cohort or until the last months of the academic year. If interested, please check the linked page below to see which language applications we are currently accepting before applying:
– Our success story
Since its launch in November 2019, the Language Café has been a huge success with over several hundred language learners and 100+ volunteers engaging with us each year, with more than 20 languages being spoken.
A huge thank you to our fantastic volunteers for their enthusiasm and dedication which has helped us to develop this event over the years. Here’s some of our feedback from our attendees:
‘It’s such a nice experience doing this with volunteers and other students! I feel free to talk with others and enjoy the fun games, chats – and the tea and snacks! I’ve really improved my English speaking skills and more importantly, I have made many new friends!’ Lavin Zhu, postgraduate taught (PGT) student (international).
‘It’s really lovely to talk to others who share an interest in Spanish, and to learn some slang phrases!’ Kate Williamson, undergraduate student (home).
‘I love the open, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and the diversity of languages of course! Actually, I’m not sure whether I come mainly to discover unfamiliar languages or to meet people, but why choose when you can do both?! :-)’ Yann Ziegler, staff member.