This is an opportunity for non-native English speakers who might enjoy a casual friendly group that meets once a month, near Lawrence (usually the 2nd Saturday of the month for 2hrs, midday). They read good books which are selected via group discussion, usually from a list that is developed by the mentor (native speaker, master's in English and education): all good books, well reviewed, interesting material often also informative about some feature of US "culture" or social history.
The group is pretty similar to any regular native speakers book club, except that they take 2 months to read a book instead of one month. This is their preferred way of adjusting for language proficiency, vs. the more common approach in ESL (it seems) to downgrade the material as if anyone who is not born speaking English lacks intelligence. This group is made up of very bright self motivated professional women, who all have Masters level education, warm & welcoming personalities. Ground rules in the group are designed to make it easy for people to speak, & grow their comfort level.
Their goal is to work toward fuller self-expression of the sort that lets you be seen & known by other people, express feelings, thoughts, opinions... not just chit-chat, not just talk about the kids or the job... but to be able to express self in the ways that allow one to make a few true friends, outside the community of one's native tongue. They have English tutors who participate just as equal members, but are available for help when asked. As a general rule they don't correct people unless an error is going to cause them to be misunderstood. The point in this group is to be understood, beyond superficial topics.
Everyone in the group has college level English & knows how to find answers to questions of grammar. I think this is a distinguishing (positive) feature of this group as an ESL discussion group. The point isn't perfection, correction or critique... which most people can get in abundance elsewhere. They are more about strengthening communication skills. The mentor takes pride in seeing see that the group members have indeed made more English speaking friends, have much more confidence about speaking up in a whole variety of "public speaking" situations, and report that they feel more integrated into the informal social community at work too, vs feeling limited to only speaking about job tasks.
So if you / your spouse / a friend or colleague is new to the country and might enjoy joining a women's network...
No dues, no pressure & no demands (other than to make a sincere effort to read the book & to show-up for more meetings than not).
They are looking to add two new members to their group, so this is a rather private opportunity to join a network.
This is an English only group, when participants have another language in common, speaking it together during the meeting is off limits.
If you are interested, please send me a private message and I'll introduce you to the mentor.