On a cold, Chicago winter afternoon, when the sun had already set far earlier than most Chicagoans would have preferred, some hardworking members of the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research (CMWR) sat around the Loop writing center drinking coffee and brainstorming. They were trying to think of new ways the CMWR could better serve DePaul’s multilingual community.
The CMWR already had Conversation & Culture. They had the Book Club. They offered workshops and took students out to explore the city.
“What else do people want? What are our multilingual and multicultural students interested in?”
“Well, language! We could have an event all about language.”
And so the idea for English Café was born. After these members hashed out their idea further and talked it over with other members, they settled on the name and the details. They wanted to offer an event more specifically focused on the nuances of English. Moreover, they decided it would be best to present these topics in a fun and informal manner, largely through group activities and conversational discussions.
Since its inaugural meeting in spring 2014, tutors and writers have collaboratively come up with topics for English Café, including idioms (“That was a piece of cake!”), prepositions (“Are you riding on the train or in the train?”), and pronunciation (“Why doesn’t though rhyme with tough if tough rhymes with rough?”). CMWR keeps English Café open to new suggestions all year long and really relies on input from attendees as to what they want to learn and discuss.
English Café is held this Autumn Quarter every Wednesday from 3:30-5:00pm in Lewis 1600 (Loop Writing Center). We hope to see you there!