International discussion tables held for first time


Meghan Hayman

Nafisa Alieva (right) had books on the English language at the English speaking conversation table, and shared them with Rebecca Dickinson (left). At the first ever international conversation tables, there was ready an English converstaion table and a Spanish conversation table.

International discussion tables were held for the first time on Jan. 27, 2015, featuring a Spanish-speaking table and an English-speaking table.

While the turnout did not offer much in the way of English-speaking students or international students wanting to practice their English at the table, the Spanish-speaking table was quickly filled and full of conversation.

These conversations are aimed to offer an opportunity for students to connect across cultures and practice their non-native languages.

At the English speaking table for this session was seated Nafisa Alieva, previously a teacher of English as a foreign language in Uzbekistan and currently an instructor of modern and classical languages at Allegheny.

As the discussion tables began, she was joined by Rebecca Dickinson, the director of the learning commons. Alieva had at the table several books about the English language ready for viewing by anyone interested.

“Studying a language at the college level is a lot more intense,” Dickinson said.

Following this meeting, the international tables will continue on a nearly daily basis and will feature different languages every day, including German, Chinese, French and more.

Correction: Jan. 27, 2015 was the first time English conversation tables were held, though the other language-focused conversation tables were held previously.