How do I set up and plan discussion club sessions?

How do I set up and plan discussion club sessions?

1. Select a date more than 10 days in advance. This allows ample time for learners to see your club session and sign up. Open a 1-hour slot using the discussion club service type. 

2. Write an engaging topic title. Choose something specific enough to guide the class, but still broad enough to interest many learners and allow for interpretation.

  • Something like “Nursing” would be too vague as a session topic title. Instead, think of phrases like “Impacts of COVID-19 on Healthcare Workers and Workplaces.”


3. Prepare some visual aids with necessary vocabulary in case learners need support, and discussion questions to prompt interactions. Create a PDF handout with pre-discussion reading and tasks to help your learners participate actively. 


4. Advertise your session in the corresponding Career Community group. To join your industry’s career community, go to the Communities tab, click “All Groups” and select “Career Communities” and choose yours to join.

Be sure to include the following information in your post:

  • topic/title of your session
  • date and time in UTC
  • appointment ID number
  • seat price


5. Create a dedicated group with the same key information from your Career Community post as the Title. Be sure to add a related image. As learners sign up for your session, add them to your group. If any unbooked learners join your group, you can encourage them to book the slot. If they refuse, you can remove or ban them using the group admin functions. Assign your open discussion club slot to your group so that learners can see their bookings on your group page. 

6. Check back on your coach dashboard to keep an eye on how many learners have signed up. Once 2 learners have signed up for a session, create the Google Meet link and share it in the notes section of the slot booking. This action indicates to learners that the session has been confirmed. If your session is at maximum capacity, you will have the option to duplicate the topic title at another time to accommodate more learners. 


7. Log in a few minutes in advance to make sure the link and your equipment are working. It’s also a good idea to confirm that all learners have access to the link to join. 


8. Once the discussion club session has begun, encourage participants to introduce themselves. Ask a question to kick the discussion off. Try to minimize coach talk time. You are facilitating a conversation between learners, not giving a lecture. You should offer grammar suggestions if a learner makes an error that impedes communication or if a learner asks you for grammar support. Remember to make corrections in a positive way and avoid embarrassing participants. 

  • Phrases like “I see what you mean, what if you said it like this:…………..” can help you to give gentle corrections that feel more like supportive suggestions.
  • Follow up after the session has ended by sending messages to each learner with some personal feedback and suggestions for further practice.