Easy English conversation

by Louisa / 20 May 2013 / No Comments

Even if you have a good level of English, it can be hard to make conversation in English. You are concentrating so much on what your conversation partner is saying, then you ‘translate it’ and have to make a response back in English. It is just so difficult to start and continue a conversation in another language. But here are 3 quick tips to help:

1)      Don’t worry too much about accuracy. In conversation, it is very boring for the other person if you are worrying about every word and are very slow. Concentrate on being interesting and…

2)      Ask lots of questions. This shows interest in the other person and helps continue the conversation. But, it is difficult to ask questions in English. However, the good news is you can forget about ‘do, does, did’ etc. Try these easy ways to ask questions with ‘how’:

‘How was….’  For questions about experience in the past. For example:
‘How was your weekend’, ‘How was your holiday in France’

‘How is….’ For questions about present experiences
‘How is your lunch?’ (meaning is it good?) ‘How is the weather in France at the moment?’

How about….’ For suggestions (informal). For example:
‘How about lunch tomorrow?’
‘…the cinema? OK. How about 7.30, Tuesday evening?’
‘How about John? He’s best for the job’

 

3)      In English, we use these little conversation markers to encourage  the other person to continue speaking:

Really ? (rising intonation)
Ah (when slightly surprised)
I see…
Or, try repeating  the last word(s) your conversation partner says with a slight rising intonation. For example:

‘I went to Barcelona’
‘Barcelona?
Yes, Barcelona, It was very big and beautiful….

Apparently Prince Charles uses this technique of repeating the last word because this encourages new people to speak  and continue the conversation. So if it works for the prince, it can work for you.

These techniques and more can take a little bit of practice to sound natural.
Why not practice your English conversation with a native Phone English teacher?  It’s a great way to practise and extend your English fluency.

About the author:

Louisa is Course Director at Phone English. She helped start Phone English after many years of teacher training and materials development at www.global-english.com.

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