Conversation and Culture

Maysoon Fayez Al-Sayed Ahmad (center) works with students during her weekly Conversation Hours.

Maysoon Fayez Al-Sayed Ahmad knows all too well that conversation is key to mastering another language. That’s why most Wednesday afternoons during the spring and fall sessions the UMW visiting professor holds a “Conversation Hour” outside of class for her students learning Arabic and for native-born students from Saudi Arabia to learn English. The UMW students range from the first to fourth-year of language experience, while the Arabic-speaking residents are enrolled at the ELS Language Center, located just across the pedestrian bridge in Eagle Village Center. The center, which opened a year ago, partners with UMW to bring international students to the Fredericksburg area to study English. Before the center opened, Al-Sayed Ahmad, a native of Jordan, held the conversation sessions with just her students, as do other faculty members in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages. Then, her students concentrated on their language weaknesses, sought extra help for tests and … [Read more...]