Updated: Jul 19
By Dr. Linh Phung
If you'd like to have a conversation with someone, two of the best speaking strategies I'd like to suggest are:
1. Ask questions and listen attentively to the answers
2. When you answer a question, answer with enough details, not only one.
Asking questions shows that you care about the other person. I often tell a story about when I threw a party at my house for our neighbors. It was noisy, and I was talking to my next-door neighbor who often talks quite softly with an Italian accent. I couldn't hear him very well, so I asked a lot of questions. I think at the end, he got to talk, and I was still a good host.
Answering a question with enough details allows the listener to have something to respond to. When people ask me where I live, I answer the question with certain details, depending on who I talk to.
To someone who doesn't know Pittsburgh: I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. It's a medium-size city about 4 hours from Washington DC and 5 hours from New York.
To someone living in Pittsburgh: I live in O'Hara township, close to Kerr Elementary School.
As you may be trying the Eduling Speak app and click on the green button "Connect with someone" on the app, you may run into strangers. How do you start a conversation with a stranger? You may ask some of the following questions and move on to a topic or a task.
Hello ... Would you like to talk?
Where do you live?
What time is it where you are?
What's the weather like there?
What do you do?
What made you download this app?
What would you like to practice today? Let's choose a task together.
The reason why Eduling Speak has many topics and tasks is to give you reasons to communicate. Sometimes we can't think of more questions to ask, the app is there to connect you and help you to have conversations.
Last weekend, I accidentally bumped into a woman from Palestine on the app. We actually had a nice conversation, and I was happy for the whole weekend. I still feel happy now.
I do make efforts to connect with people online and in-person. Here's a picture of me and Ms. Marian Lien, a winner of the Illuminate Award from the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh at their Spring Soiree event. I encourage you to talk to people more often instead of only texting or emailing. You'll be surprised by what connections you make, how much English you learn, and how happy you feel afterwards.
Eduling Speak is an app to connect English learners and speakers to talk in pairs through topics and tasks on the app. It currently has over 1,000 users from over 40 countries. You may download it from the App Store or Google Play.
Join our Facebook for support and more opportunities: www.facebook.com/groups/eduling