Conversation Circles

Conversation Circles

By Chelsie Gohlmann 

Interested in practicing your language skills and connecting with others? Come join one of the Ames Public Library's Conversation Circles programs! Our programs provide a welcoming environment where language learners of all levels can improve their skills by chatting with others in their chosen language.

Conversation Circles: English is led by myself and my colleague, Ellen, every Monday from 12:30-1:30pm. It is the only Conversation Circles program that is facilitated by library staff; whereas, the others are all volunteer-led. The main focus of this group is to provide a comfortable setting for English language learners to practice their conversation skills. We pair native and non-native English speakers together to ensure participants are able to practice as much as possible. I have truly enjoyed being a part of this program! Week after week, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting new people and learning about their native countries. Being able to witness the marked improvement in English language skills over time has to be my favorite part! We could always use more native English-speaking volunteers, so if you are interested please join us!

We currently have four volunteer-led Conversation Circles: Spanish, German, Russian, and French. The atmosphere is casual and supportive, so you can practice speaking with others without being concerned about your fluency level. Spanish meets Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm and German meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from 7-8pm. Russian meets Saturdays from 3-4pm, and French meets Saturdays from 4-5:30pm. All of our volunteer-led Conversation Circles meet in the Dale H. Ross Board Room located on the 2nd floor of the library. If you are unable to physically come to the library, they can also be attended via Zoom. The Zoom links can be found on the library calendar (

I am excited to announce that we will soon be adding Conversation Circles: Chinese to our language programs! It will be held every Thursday from 10:30-11:30am and also available via Zoom. We are fortunate to have an eager volunteer that is committed to making this program successful. I am hopeful that by adding this additional language, we will be able to reach more members in our community. Conversation Circles: Chinese is set to start on June 1st!

There is no registration required to attend any of our Conversation Circles. Please check our website for upcoming dates and times, or stop by the library to learn more.