Local club gives non-native English speakers an opportunity to practice with one another every week

HOUSTON, Texas - A group of people in Houston from all over the globe are being asked to do something that, at times, may feel somewhat challenging. They're being asked to speak up.

Members of the Speak Up HTX Conversation Club meet weekly at the Houstonia magazine offices for a very informal get-together.  They all speak English,  but for each, English is a second language. Being part of the club gives them a chance to practice, without pressure.

"It`s not like a classroom," says Scott Vogel, Founding editor of Houstonia. "You don`t have to take tests or anything. You just learn about peoples lives."

Each week brings a different theme, a different topic of conversation and the opportunity to get to know one another.

"In this group, I know about other cultures," says Thays Kopelvsky from Brazil. "About other foods. About other drinks. Music. Movies. We talk about everything!"

In this safe space, they improve their English while sharing their stories.   "They really want to get this fluency aspect down and that`s what draws them to this atmosphere," says club organizer Spencer Vogel.

They also share their hopes and their dreams. "It's on my bucket list to write in English, a book," says Arturo Domingo from Mexico with a big smile.

The club is so popular, they need more room to hang out. So, if you know of a place, by all means, speak up!