Language & Special Interest Tables
Weekly language and special interest tables in Forbes offer undergraduates the opportunity to develop language skills or expand knowledge of a particular topic in the informal setting of a regular, shared meal. See weekly events for a listing of table times and locations.
LANGUAGE TABLE GOALS
- practice conversational language in a supportive, non-evaluative environment
- learn cultural etiquette (e.g., how to greet one another in a casual setting)
- meet other undergraduates who share their interest in a language and culture
- participate in a sustained discussions with graduate students and professors
- receive encouragement to study a language further
- communicate across boundaries of language, nation, race, culture, and ethnicity;
- develop an interest in studying abroad
- learn about a culture’s politics, history, religion, and geography
For bilingual or international undergraduates, the tables provide an opportunity to meet other undergraduates, to share experiences about their nation or culture of origin, and to converse in their native language. Although most language tables focus primarily on developing basic conversational skills, some may focus more broadly on a cultural or regional interest, with language practice as a secondary purpose for the gathering.
Participants: Normally, language table hosts are a fellow or affiliate of Forbes College. Language table hosts are expected to welcome undergraduate participants from all six colleges, as well as any Faculty and Graduate Fellows of the hosting College who may wish to participate. Other occasional guests may be invited with the approval of the table host and the College office.
Meal Passes: Forbes College provides each table host with a special meal card containing 3 meals per week. These meals may be used only on the night the table is scheduled. The meals should not be used for table participants who already have student meal plans or Fellow meal privileges at Forbes. The table host is responsible for using the meal card to swipe in each “guest” who does not have a meal plan. If more meal passes are desired, the table host is encouraged to contact the academic department related to the language or special interest, which may be willing to accept charges for additional meals.
Hosting Duties: The table host is responsible for advertising the time and location of the table, and for facilitating the table discussion every week that the Dining Hall is in operation (or, on rare occasions, for finding a skilled replacement facilitator). The table host is responsible for swiping in guests of the language table who do not have a meal plan. Hosts are asked to submit a regular report to the College office concerning attendance at the table. Hosts are encouraged to request funds from the College office to support a special event (film screening, party supplies, cultural outing, etc.)
Dining Hall Operation: Language tables may begin meeting as early as the second week of classes, and end as late as the week Reading Period. They do not operate when school is not in session. If Dining Services offers special dinner (e.g., Garden State Dinner, Great Chef’s Dinner, Holiday dinners) on the evening of the language table, that table will be cancelled. It will not be switched to another day, in order to preserve the regularity and reliability of the table schedule.
Contact: To host a language or special interest table, or request more information please contact the Director of Studies, Patrick Caddeau, in the Forbes College Office.