You don't have to wait for a semester abroad to practice the language you are learning at Duke. Many language programs hold regular meetings for conversation practice and learning about culture. These events are often open to all speakers at all levels from throughout the Duke community. Such programs are listed below, with information on Spring 2015 meetings. Check with the appropriate language program for any schedule additions or changes. If you do not see your language listed here, please talk to your instructor or contact the department to inquire about conversation opportunities. In addition to these events sponsored by academic departments in Trinity College, the Duke International House provides a number of opportunities for language practice.
Students from the Chinese language classes, Chinese instructors and members of the Chinese Hall meet at Speaking Table every Thursday at 6 p.m. at Grace’s Café in Trent Hall. Students can enjoy Chinese food while they practice speaking Mandarin Chinese in a more relaxed environment outside of classroom. Chinese speakers of all levels are welcome to join.
La Table Française is a weekly conversation table which takes place Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Penn Pavilion. (Look for the table with a French flag.) It is open to everyone in the Duke community who would like to speak French. All levels are welcome.
The Duke German Club organizes coffee hours, film series and other events for students at Duke interested in German culture. Kaffeestunde is held every Monday at 5 p.m. in the German Department Lounge in Old Chemistry.
La Tavola Italiana is an Italian language activity group that sponsors regular film viewings, conversation practice, bocce tournaments, soccer games and talks on contemporary Italian culture.
The Japanese conversation table is held every Friday, 1-2 p.m. at Penn Pavilion. Members of the Japanese hall, students who are taking Japanese and Japanese program faculty members regularly attend to converse in Japanese over lunch. This activity is open to the public, and anyone who speaks Japanese is welcome to join, including those who are not enrolled in Japanese courses.
The Duke Bate-Papo Brasil group provides an opportunity for Portuguese conversation at all levels. The group organizes lectures on Brazilian social, environmental, business issues around the Duke and UNC campuses, and cultural and social events with carnaval, samba, pagode, capoeira and Brazilian culinary exploration.
The Duke Russian Conversation Club has a Facebook group and holds occasional meetings for conversation practice in the Bryan Center. For more opportunities to extend your language discussion in Russian, please visit the Duke Slavic Centers site.
Club Pura Vida is a Spanish conversation group that meets several times during the academic year on campus. The meetings are open to all Duke students and the broader community at all levels of proficiency. All are welcome to come, share some food and join in the casual conversation and cultural exchange in a relaxed setting that encourages interaction and discovery. Spring meetings are scheduled for Jan. 29, Feb. 12, Feb. 26, March 19 and April 9, 6:30-8 p.m. in the Upper East Side are of the East Campus Union/Marketplace.