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Alisha: Hi, everybody!
My name is Alisha and I'm joined again in
the studio by…

Michael: Michael. Hello.
Alisha: And, today we're going to be talking
about English conversation strategies.

Let's get right into it.
Let's start with Michael.
What is your first strategy for keeping an
English conversation going?

Michael: This is very important.
“Don't say, 'I'm fine, thank you.
And you?'”
You hear this all the time from second language
English learners or non-native speakers.

It's one of the first things you learn in
an English class.

It's easy, it's good, it's a basic foundation.
Okay, that's fine.
But, as soon as you can switch it up.
Because, to me, when I meet a foreigner and
they come up, and if they say, “Hey, how

are you?”
Say, “Oh, I'm fine.
I'm good.
How about you?”
And they say, “I'm fine, thank you.
And you?”
And it's almost robotic because I've said
it so many times, and when I hear that, I

think their English isn't that good.
And, inside, I'm just going to be really polite
and say, “Hello,” and talk slowly and

try to get out of there as quick as I can.
To really impress the foreigner, in my opinion,
I think the best way to do it is say something--

Use a big word or just like a slang word.
Something like that.
When I hear that, I go, “Wow, man!
I want to know what this person thinks!
I want to get their point of view!
And I'm really excited,” and then I've had
great conversations because of that.

Alisha: That's a really good one, and actually,
I think on this YouTube channel, from a couple

years ago, there's a video all about better
answers to the question “How are you?”

than “I'm fine, thank you.
And you?” or if someone says, “Hey, how
are you?

I'm good!
You?” or “Fine.
Never “I'm fine, thank you.
And you?”
But try to actually use a phrase that a native
speaker would use, and then that's a clue

to the native speaker that, “Oh, maybe this
person is ready for a conversation beyond

basic English.”
That's a really good point.
I like that.
I didn't think of things not to do.
I only thought of things to do.
Cool! Let's see.
Let's go to my first one.
This strategy, in general, is just “ask
the other person a question.”

I'm guilty of this too when I'm learning another

I tend to only get input.
Somebody else is always asking me the questions,
and then I forget myself to ask the other

person a question.
One question that I like to ask or a variation,
any kind of “WH” question is good, like

a “who” question, “what,” “where.”
Something like this, if you've been paying
attention, you can use anyway to transition

in your conversation.
This was in a previous video.
You can ask something like anyway up to anything
fun this weekend.

This is a pretty casual, conversational question
that you can ask just about anybody, whether

you've just met them or whether you've known
them for a while, but just get in the habit

of asking other people the question.
Don't wait for someone else to ask you the

So, that's one strategy that I tried to use
to keep things going.

Michael: Yeah, me too.
I agree, and I'm going to say, “samesies,”
because actually, two of my questions were

exactly what you said.
Agree 100%.
This is kind of cheating.
These should be one.
So, “always ask questions.”
Again, you forget it's really easy.
I'm really guilty of this, English, non-English,

I'm guilty of this.
And, the other thing is ask deep, open-ended

If you ask a yes-or-no question, just like
what Alisha was saying, it just dead ends.

You can't just say, “Do you like cheese?”
“Yes,” or “No.”
You would want to say, “What do you think
about cheese?

What is your favorite kind?”
And kind of open it up to something else and
let it just kind of snowball.

Alisha: Right.
Yeah, I think that's really a key.
I have another variation.
I guess I'll just continue on because it kind
of relates to what you're talking about.

He's saying always ask questions, always ask
deep open-ended questions.

Don't ask a yes-or-no question because yes
or no ends with the “Yes” or the “No.”

One of the things that I'll do is use a pattern
similar to this, “Hey, did you see...?”

or “Hey, did you hear about blah, blah,

So, you can use this little “blah, blah,
blah” as your--you can ask about the news.

You can ask about something funny you saw
on the Internet.

You can ask about something that you heard
from another friend of yours, whatever.

It's just a way to check in with the other
person and say, “Oh, did you also experience

this thing that I experienced?
Let's talk about that.”
That might be another question that you can
use with people.

Michael: I like that one.
I really like that one because you got to
stay within people's comfort zone.

Maybe you asked, and maybe they don't want
to, right?

A good thing is, “Did you hear about it?”
That's up to him.
Maybe they don't want to talk about it.
They can say, “Oh, yeah.
I heard about that,” and you can kind of
feel the atmosphere and realize, “Maybe

I shouldn't talk about this.”
Change the subject, or they get passionate
and they start talking about it, and there

you go and just let it go.
Yeah, absolutely.
One thing, again, I'm guilty of is you got
to keep returning it.

Don't just say, “Oh, yeah, and what I think
about that...”

Bring it back.
Ask them, “What about you?”
That's a common thing I forget about.
Alisha: Ok. Good.
I have one more.
This one, use when you see fit, I guess.
I'll just introduce it.
Compliment the other person.
This can be a nice strategy just to show that
you're enjoying the other person's company.

It can be as simple as, “Oh, I like your
shirt today,” or “Oh, that's a nice dress

you're wearing today,” or “Oh, did you
get a new haircut?

That looks good on you!”
Something like that.
This is a nice way to make the other person
maybe want to spend more time with you, I

Michael: I agree 100% Two things: One, I think
it's a good conversation starter sometimes.

If, you got to be careful.
With a stranger, it can be creepy.
It can be a little uncomfortable, what you're
complimenting, right?

But if it's something like, if they have a
t-shirt and it's a band that you both like,

that's a great conversation starter, and you
feel, “Wow, we're connected.”

Number two, the second thing I was thinking
about is that keep it honest.

I love a sincere compliment.
It really means a lot more, and it really
does butter them up, kind of get them open

to having more conversations deeper, that
kind of thing.

But one of the things people do, which I don't
like is, let's say they say, “Hey, nice

And then the person, out of habit, will say,
“Oh, you too.

I like your shirt, too.”
Just my opinion, I don't think this feels
really natural.

It doesn't really feel sincere, so I would
save it, make a mental note, and go, “Hmm,

I need to return the favor.
I need to give them a compliment.”
But, wait until you notice something you really
do like and say, “Hey, actually, I love

blah, blah, blah.”
Alisha: Yeah, I think that's a great point.
When you can sense whether someone is being
sincere or not, what is your next strategy

for continuing an English conversation?
Michael: Well, “don't be afraid to open

I like this one.
I think this is good.
A lot of people will be kind of shy.
They won't open up too much.
Again, within your comfort zone, but I like
this one because people return the favor.

Because if you're just having small talk and
you say, “The weather is nice today.

Blah, blah, blah,” you can only go so far.
So, don't be afraid to say something personal.
Again, trust your judgment.
Don't be a creeper.
We don't want to hear certain things about
your life.

Alisha: Don't be a creep.
Don't be weird.
Don't be strange.
Like what you're saying about opening up,
“open up” is just a phrase that means

“share something about yourself.”
It can be as simple as what you did last weekend
or what you're going to do this weekend or

a project that you have coming up.
It doesn't mean that you have to spill all
of your life secrets to the other person but

just showing that you're willing to share
something more personal about yourself can

help ingratiate yourself or can help the other
person understand you a little bit better.

That's a good tip.
I like that tip.
That's hard to do, though.
It's hard.
It's a little bit scary, I think, to share
parts of yourself, but it's good.

But it's a good way to meet people and make friends.
I think that's all.
Is that all that you have?
Michael: Yeah, that's all I got.
Alisha: Okay.
Those are some interesting strategies to keep
an English conversation going, so give them

a try.
If you're ever at a loss for words and don't
know what to say, you can try one of these

strategies, and hopefully, it will help you

Please let us know if you have any other strategies
or anything else that you would like to use

or you try to use when you are having trouble
keeping a conversation going.

Leave us a comment and let us know what it

We will see you again next time.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Michael: That's about it.
Alisha: Alright!
Thanks very much for joining us and take care.


English Topics - English Conversation Strategies

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yenble.jerry 2018 年 10 月 10 日 に公開
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