Open Language

by GSBTB

The Open Language is a space for learning languages in a relaxed but structured environment. It offers a friendly, non-school setting to improve speaking skills through conversations between native speakers and language learners. Organised through meet-ups, it is a place for developing friendships and building solidarity networks as well. The Open Language currently offers English and German learning opportunities and hopes to add more languages to the list. Participation is free of charge and everybody is welcome.

What is it the Open Language about? 

The Open Language is a social setting for language learning that works on a skill-sharing basis. Rather than being a traditional language school with a teacher and a student, it allows people to interact over a cup of tea or coffee and snacks. Participants are encouraged to converse freely on their topics of interest in smaller groups or with a tandem partner adjusted to their level of fluency. Native speaker volunteers are on hand to provide guidance and more targeted learning for those who desire it.

The Open Language has been an active and growing community since 2013. Organised in the form of weekly meet-ups, the Open Language is a space of exchange. It often hosts guest speakers who are experts in their topic. They give fresh input on various issues, such as housing in Berlin, finding a job, and interesting activities in town.

While the German language café has been very useful for newcomers to Berlin, the English language café addressed particular needs of our community. Fearing that their asylum applications in Germany would not be accepted, refugees sometimes want to develop their English skills in order to increase their chances of finding a job elsewhere. Similarly, some migrants and refugees would like to learn academic English in order to be accepted to study. This list can easily grow: Women to feel more empowered, literature academics who want to keep their English fresh, students of German language who do not want to forget English in the meantime, curious community participants who just want to learn everything

Open Language activities

The weekly meet-ups of the Open Language are open to everyone and participation is completely free of charge.

Time and location of activities

Tuesdays 18:00-20:00 English Language Café

Wednesdays 17:30 – 21:00 German Language Café (Sprachcafé)

Due to the increase in Covid 19 case numbers all activities of the Open Language moved ONLINE as mid-October 2020. Find the instructions for joining online sessions by checking the calendar of activities on our Events page.  You can email Ricarda Bochat at ricarda.bochat@gsbtb.org for more information.

Get involved with the Open Language! 

Learn a language with us! 

The Open Language is up and running ONLINE and our language cafés are open to everyone. Just come by! ! You can join German or English sessions, or both 🙂

Volunteer with us! 

We are a closely connected community and appreciate people who would like to commit themselves to work with us. Our volunteer roles require a minimum of six months of commitment and offer a meaningful experience in return. We invest in and follow individually our volunteers’ personal and professional growth. We share our creativity with each other. Regardless of background and life stage, we believe everyone has something to offer and take.

Join us as a guest speaker!

If you like meeting new people and explain a particular topic in simple terms, we can invite you to our Open Language meet-ups as a guest speaker. Our diverse community is always interested in hearing new insights into various topics from artificial intelligence to urban planning, from finding a job in Berlin to history of India.

Donate to sustain our work!

All our activities are free for everyone. We need your support for renting a space for the café and catering. We appreciate all donations, big and small and you can choose a one-off donation or set up regular monthly or yearly contributions. You can donate by following the instructions on this page (Link to donate page).

Contact

The Open Language looks forward to hearing from you! Feel free to contact Ricarda Bochat at Ricarda.bochat@gsbtb.org for more information.

Read more about the Open Language:

English lessons for refugees: Interview with Silke Georgi who runs the teaching at ImmobilienScout24

Sprachcafé-regular Amer Khlil has written this moving story about his journey from Syria to Germany, in German, after just one year of living in Germany

Partners

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Immobilen Scout supports us by hosting our English Café

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Thanks for your support!