FriendSpeak trains churches to reach out to our international neighbors with English, friendship, and the Word of God. As families from every corner of the globe arrive in our neighborhoods, Christians have an opportunity like never before to reach the world with the Good News of Jesus. FriendSpeak is the domestic side of Let’s Start Talking Ministry. The same method and materials are used – the only difference is that FriendSpeak program volunteers live in the same area with their “Readers.”
FriendSpeak is useful because we offer people something they want but have difficulty finding – a friend who will help them practice and improve their conversational English. Unlike traditional English as Second Language classes, language missions, or literacy programs, FriendSpeak is conducted in a one-to-one setting with an emphasis on relationships and meaningful conversations based on Biblical texts. The result is a series of heartfelt discussions about faith, love, and the source of abundant life!
FriendSpeak prepares God’s people to conduct well-planned, one-on-one, English conversation classes (entirely in English) while teaching them to share their faith in a very natural and comfortable way. Our training focuses on three core principles that empower Christians to act with confidence: 1) The Word is the teacher and we are the illustration, 2) A friendly relationship is more productive than Teacher vs. Student, and 3) Scripture is the basis for conversation.
FriendSpeak is best suited to foreign learners who can already read and speak some English. The workbooks used feature text from the Easy-to-Read version of the Bible (translated at about a 4th-grade reading level). In this sense, it is not an actual ESL program for beginners or for teaching reading/writing/vocabulary.
Each FriendSpeak conversation session is typically 45-50 minutes long, allowing time for oral reading of the text and discussion between the FriendSpeak Worker and English Learner (we call them ‘Readers’) Typical Readers have ranged in age from 13 to 83.
Both the FriendSpeak Volunteer worker and the Reader use the same version of our workbook – FriendSpeak training session handouts function as a “training manual” to provide the volunteer with the Seed Thoughts for each lesson and methods for creating discussion questions. FriendSpeak is designed to be non-confrontational.
If using this method of evangelism interests you, please contact Mark Johnson (soon).