FriendSpeak FAQs & Tips

Here is a list of Frequent Asked Questions and Tips that you might find helpful at your FriendSpeak sessions:

FriendSpeak FAQs:
  • Tips for Your First Session:
    • Prior to your first conversation session you will receive a reader’s name and contact number. Please contact them to confirm best time/day for both to meet online and decide on which online platform (Zoom, Facetime, Messenger, Whatsapp, Google meet) for the meeting and send them a meeting link.
    • Spend the first part of the session getting to know your readers and their needs. Give them English practice by asking them questions. (How long have you been in the US? Why did you sign up for FriendSpeak? How did you hear about FriendSpeak? What would you like to get out of FriendSpeak? What English skills would you like to do better?)
    • Then, let them ask you a few questions. Share a few pictures of your family, hobbies or pets if you like.
    • Use the last 25 minutes or so to do a session in the workbook.
    • Make sure your reader knows how long your program’s sessions will run (12 sessions per semester).
    • Confirm your next meeting day and time as you end the session.
  • Is it necessary to finish one lesson per session? Can we do more than one lesson per session if we have more time?
    • FriendSpeak session ought to be very relax and fun. It is done without hurry and at your own pace. It is not necessary to finish a lesson per session. If you can’t finish the lesson in a session, just pick up where you left off next week. It is not recommended to do more than one lesson per session even if time allows as the lesson will take away the time of meaningful conversation. Remember the priority is to build friendship through meaningful conversation.
  • Will we be able to meet in person?
    • If you and your reader are comfortable to meet in person, you may do so. One good open area to meet is the Porch area by Grace Fellowship Worship center or any other places with outdoor sitting area that both of you are comfortable.
  • Are there any advice and tips for me? What’s the most important/effective tips to help my reader?
    • Yes! In fact if you scroll down this page, you will find the “FriendSpeak Tips” section where we compiled a list of tips and techniques used by our volunteers to help their readers. Feel free to try them with your readers. The list may be long but my TOP 2 tips are: Talk Slowly and Pray for your reader.
  • Is it encouraged doing things outside of your weekly session?
    • Readers tend to be very gracious. It wouldn’t be uncommon to be asked to lunch, although that’s not always the case as each person’s schedule will be different. Your first meeting conversation about your family life/schedule should open up questions about how they like to spend their time. Some readers are much more open in the beginning while others may be shy and take a little longer to build trust. It won’t be long before you both know A LOT about each other! A good rule of thumb is to go at their pace – in the workbook as well as outside involvement. If you and the reader wish to do so, that is a wonderful opportunity to build a friendship.
  • What do we do after we completed the FriendSpeak’s Luke workbook? Will I still have my reader for the next semester?
    • FriendSpeak’s Luke workbook has 31 lessons and it will take you a while to complete it. After the completion, you will continue with FriendSpeak’s Acts workbook, John workbook, GOOD News workbook, and the Old Testmament workbook. So we will have plenty of material for you to go on with your reader. You will always stay with your same reader every semester until one of you decided not to go on. This way you will have the best opportunity to build your friendship with your reader.
  • Why do we start with the Luke workbook instead of others?
    • Luke is always used as the first workbook with FriendSpeak Readers since Luke wrote it to unbelieving people who were unfamiliar with Old Testament writings.
  • Do you have a sample of questions I can ask my reader for each lesson?
FriendSpeak Tips:

Here is a list of tips and techniques used by our volunteers to help their readers. Feel free to try them with your readers:

  • Bring a map to help readers know where the places are.
  • Bring a note pad to draw pictures for illustration.
  • Use a digital tablet to show photos to help reader understand the difficult words.
  • Bring photos to support the lesson, ex. a worker brought photo of her pregnancy to explain the word “pregnant” and a multi generation photo of her great grandmother and her child to explain the word “ancestor”.
  • Use gestures, body language, and facial expressions to enhance understanding.
  • Be intentional to speak very slowly.
  • Ask open ended questions to get the reader to talk more for if we talk 50% of the time, we may be talking too much.
  • Encourage your reader with affirming nod as your reader speaks to convey understanding or approval.
  • Building relationships is our primary objective. Completing the lesson is secondary.
  • Be flexible – if you’re not able to complete a lesson, pick up where you left off the next session.
  • Don’t be stressed out and try to explain everything. Just be their friend and let God’s Word be the teacher.
  • Invite your readers to go out for lunch and other activities to build relationship (as long as they are comfortable to do so).
  • If you can’t make it to the session, please contact your reader in advance.
  • Have fun and it’s alright to laugh out loud and act silly because that’s what friends do.
  • Praying for your readers, for only the Lord can draw them to Himself.
  • I know it may be a long list but my TOP 2 are: Talk Slowly and Pray for them 🙂