American participants are the facilitators and listeners. Their role is to keep conversations going by asking questions about the week's topic. Making "corrections" is not as important as communicating meaning. Generally, corrections should be made only when a mistake interferes with understanding. International participants should do most of the talking. This is very important to remember. International students should try to come to each meeting with a list of words, phrases, gestures, etc. that they find difficult, or do not understand.
When they encounter communication that they don't understand, tell them they should make a quick note of it and ask you about it when you meet. Let them know that they don't need to feel afraid or embarrassed about asking "foolish questions." There are no "foolish questions" when one is attempting to learn.
American volunteers initiate conversation by asking the listed questions and listening to the responses. American students may also provide their own brief responses, but should remember to always let the international student do most of the talking. (And, you do not necessarily have to stick to the listed questions or topic). The provided topics are mainly a means to get the conversation going. Don't feel tied to them or that you have to get through them during your meeting. Feel free to follow tangents. This is NOT meant to be another classroom activity for MEI students, but rather a chance to talk and make an American friend.