One of the most important aspects of any language is the ability to start a conversation naturally. Everyday interaction is the cornerstone of language. The goal of our ESL school, American Language Communications Center, is to help you start dialogue in a natural, free flowing manner.
Many textbooks will tell you to say, “Hello. What is your name?” However, some people might be taken back, unsure why a stranger is asking for their name. This is where the importance of “small talk” comes in. Small talk is the term given to conversations that are about insignificant things, or small things. For instance, if you were waiting for a bus, you might say,” I wish the bus would hurry up. It is cold out here.” At this point you have started a conversation with someone in a nonthreatening way. You both are waiting for the train and you both are aware of the cold air. This commonality may spur the other person to talk back. Once this “small talk” is started, then more meaningful conversations can be entered.
ALCC helps guide you through the process of naturally starting conversations through small talk and other avenues. But nothing beats getting into the real world and trying various approaches on your own. Don’t be concerned if somebody doesn’t speak back. They may not have heard you or may not be friendly. The more you practice naturally starting a conversation, the better you will be.