There’s nothing E-QIP loves quite as much as a good ol’ happy hour to get students out and about in Montreal. Every other Tuesday, after classes, we hit the streets of NDG to find a local watering hole for a midday pick-me-up. Much like a classroom, a bar is the perfect place to learn and practice speaking with other students, teachers, and natives in a cozy, casual environment. Pub Club embodies our philosophy of “speak don’t study,” offering students the opportunity to absorb new cultures, come together with new people, and learn beyond the classroom.
Beers are often celebrated as the drink of choice among many countries and cultures around the world. Among these countries is Canada – the Great White North, home to world-class beers and ciders. Perhaps it’s thanks to the lush Canadian landscapes, which provides everything from the hops to the freshwater needed to make the perfect pint, but beer has become ingrained in Canadian identity. Not to mention the fact that Pub Club offers foreign students an authentic experience into the 5 à 7 culture that is found here in Quebec. Pub Club gives students a first-hand experience of Canadian culture, but it also allows students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of cultures from around the world in the process. Ultimately, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring students from all walks of life together and unite them over something as simple as a round of drinks.
Nothing gets a conversation going like a pint of beer and a group of people from all around the world. With so much to discuss, sometimes the only barrier to speaking with others is confidence. Luckily, there is a simple solution: a drink! According to numerous studies, a certain level of alcohol can help individuals speak foreign languages better. Whether it’s a biological effect or simply a placebo effect, it has been observed that alcohol consumption improves pronunciation and fluency. Although too much alcohol could have the opposite effect, a pint of beer can help students overcome their nervousness and shyness.
Indeed, there are certain things which can’t be taught in the classroom. That’s why we love activities like Pub Club, because it provides the ultimate opportunity to learn a language by speaking with others. Having a friendly conversation with native speakers and language learners over a beer allows students to learn colloquial phrases and expressions that typically wouldn’t be found sitting in front of a chalkboard. In unstructured settings, students are put in situations where they may not have the words or vocabulary, so it gives them the opportunity to practice communicating in natural, everyday conversations. Ultimately, activities like pub club offer a fun way to learn a language and prepare students for candid conversations.
So the next time you’re debating whether to grab a drink with us during our Pub Club, just remember that a beer and fluency go hand in hand. Who knew that learning could be so refreshing?