We started a Whatsapp group at the outset where we message each other and share funny videos and YouTube finds. Like many others we seemed to feel at first that we would need to cheer ourselves up. Very soon we started to have Zoom meetings at our regular time on Mondays, sticking initially to our previous format. This was to go round the table telling what we had done in the week. This was strangely less productive with our lives in lockdown but it’s been surprising how we have gradually developed new routines and activities.
We have learnt a whole new vocabulary related to Covid-19. Any new words that crop up we can type in chat so we can all see the new vocabulary at the same time. As host I find these chats saved to my computer at the end of the session.
Last year we all subscribed to a French language magazine and we have started using that as we all have our own copies. We might translate an article or do an activity or game. This week we enjoyed doing a crossword together. Another activity which proved useful took advantage of the Share facility in Zoom. One person can share a photo, or a series of photos with the group and tell the story which attaches to it.
Finding my free Zoom account meeting time limited to 40 minutes we have made use of the SLU3A account to extend our 40 minutes sessions to an hour and a half which has been helpful.
We soon found ourselves wanting to communicate more than our French would allow in our Monday sessions and started meeting later in the week as well for an English-language social session. And finally we are about to make that meeting in the garden of one of our members, socially distanced of course.