October 31st is known around the world as Halloween but on this fateful night, Istanbul&I held their virtual Language Exchange Event (LEE). Trick or treating and attending a Halloween party could be memorable moments unto themselves and so is attending one of I&I's LEEs. The online event was attended by 15 people, looking to sharpen their skills in a different language. LEEs generally center around a topic, and different clusters of participants discuss the various questions presented by their group moderator. In a typical virtual event, everyone has an introduction to the event and are then put into breakout rooms with other participants. The languages offered are either English, Turkish, or Arabic. Thus, it is a great opportunity to brush up on or utilize that second or third language you've been working on.
Each LEE is broken into two sessions, allowing participants to take part in both and choose different languages if they'd like. The questions are asked based on whether the participants are beginners or above that level. Some of the sample questions included, "What's a moment you felt something changed in you for the better?" or for the more advanced levels, "What's a moment you've felt very accomplished?" What's paramount in these events is allowing participants to practice the language they'd like with fluent moderators while also having an interesting topic to talk about. In the first session, there were two English groups, while the second had two English groups and an additional Turkish group for those learning Turkish. Previous topics have included Death, Double Standards, Happiness, among others. It is key to have something everyone wants to talk about. Sometimes participants would answer the prompts in order and at times they could respond to one another's questions. Everyone gets relatively the same amount of time, subject to their willingness to speak.
Overall, the event was a success. Participants left happy and having learned new vocabulary and used vocabulary they had learned before. If you'd like to attend one of these wonderful events, they alternate between virtual and in-person every other week, so give them a shot! It's a great speaking exercise.