A strategy for helping with you with conversations in English
A conversation with a native speaker can be scary and stressful. We worry about making mistakes, embarrassing ourselves, speaking too slowly, not understanding, and not having much to say.
I think a good strategy is to imagine ourselves having a conversation. It sounds silly but by imagining, we can visualise the types of conversations that me might typically have.
Conversations are often nothing more than questions and answers. So, what are some typical questions:
How old are you?
Where are you from?
Where do you live?
These questions usually have a very simple and short answer.
I want to focus on a different set of common questions:
What do you do for a living?
What did you do today?
What are your plans for today/the rest of the week?
What are you doing this weekend?
What did you do last weekend?
What have you done this week?
Do these sound familiar?
These questions will almost always come up in a conversation. I can almost guarantee it. So if you know that these type of questions will come up, it could be really useful to practice different answers:
Let's look at: 'What did you do today?
One answer could be:
I didn't do much. It was a pretty average day. We have a quarantine at the moment so we can't really go out much. I have been watching some Netflix. I took the dog for a walk and have been practicing some English. What about you?
The point of the exercise is not to memorise words, but to practice responding to some of these questions in different ways.
Write out different answers to the same question.
Check with native speakers on HelloTalk or use online sites like DeepL, or Google Translate (just be careful, sometimes they're not 100% accurate) and once they're correct grammatically etc, practice reading them out until they become natural for you to say.
Just be patient and kind with yourself. Nobody is perfect.
Hope it helps.
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