The Lingua Franca at Entrance
For native speakers of English, it feels like we can cheat linguistically around the world. There is often someone, somewhere who can offer assistance in our mother tongue. Here in Thailand, there is a resurgence in the value placed on learning English. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has decided that English will be it’s unifying language. And just like that, there is a felt need to move beyond the jargon specific to one’s field of study and build confidence in free-flow conversation and everyday life (in English, of all languages).
At Entrance Coffeehouse and Studio, investing in students by developing their English skills is a key way to serve the university community. Hannah, our Imagine Thailand team member at Entrance, takes a lead role in using English as a means of connection. Practicing the art of conversation requires a topic (or four) and so learning a language often pushes people to talk more - about the world, about their experiences, and about their expectations.
The staff at Entrance also participate in weekly English lessons with Hannah. Entrance is very much a Thai coffeehouse, but like anything here in Bangkok, there is an international pulse. So you’ll be greeted in Thai by Thai staff members, but know that you’re in the heart of a multicultural mega-city.
Hannah has been running English Club (EC) for four years now and in that time over 200 students have learned communally through EC. Students often start coming motivated by ambitions of working for a larger international company where English is a must. It usually takes a few weeks, but with time you see students grow in confidence and begin to express themselves more freely. EC is a wonderful space for students to move past the educational model of absorption and adoption and into the trickier waters of exploration and discovery. EC meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 17:00 to 19:00 at Entrance Coffeehouse and Studio.
Entrance Family Gatherings (EFG) take place on Friday evenings from 18:00 to 20:00 where conversation centers around a set topic. There is a short presentation of the topic, small discussion groups, and food (because great conversations usually happen around great food). While EC offers the opportunity for conversational practice, EFG is focused time to explore life’s bigger issues and the subject matter engages with life, faith, society, and family. It’s a safe, conversational space to explore some thoughts you may have been having or interact with thoughts you’ve never had before.
If you’re looking to improve your English, check out Entrance. If you’re English is already excellent, then come and enjoy a coffee. Know that the heart behind it all is connection - in any language.