General English Conversation
This syllabus is based on a course of 10 hours. It can be considered as an online course or a physical course.
Lesson 1 – Getting to know you
In this lesson the main objective is to practice English conversation skills which you would normally use when first starting a conversation with someone you have just met.
The main areas that will be looked at are:
- Basic greetings in English
- Ways to continue a conversation following greeting someone
- Asking questions which can discover interests, hobbies, family details, and culture of a person
- Asking information about likes and dislikes
- Discussion skills on giving and asking for opinions on a range of subjects.
- Bringing out grammatical structures through questions based on general topics.
- For more advanced students, a range of questions based on hypothetical topics.
- Ways to invite people to events, dinner dates, parties, and general social occasions.
- Accepting and declining invitations.
Basic Greetings in English
Let’s take a look at a dialogue which shows examples of how to greet someone in English, ways to continue the conversation, and filling the conversation with key expressions to show interest.
Hey Anthony! How are you doing?
Oh hi Susan! It’s great to see you again. I’m doing just fine thanks. What about yourself? You look fantastic!
Oh really? Do you think so? Thanks Anthony. You are such a charmer! I’m very well, thanks for asking.
Have you changed your hairstyle?
You are spot on. I had it dyed and straightened this morning.
Well it looks wonderful. Do you often change the colour of your hair?
Not often, just when I fancy a change. I think red suits me as it’s my favourite colour.
Well, you must give me the name of your stylist for my wife. She’s not happy with her current one.
Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s so important for us to have a good hairdo. Sure I will, Anthony. Hang on, I will send you the number to you now. (Getting mobile phone out of bag). There you go, I’ve sent it. Have you got it yet?
Thanks, I’ve just got it in my inbox. Wow! You go to Zohanna’s Hair Heaven? I’ve heard they work miracles.
Well, I would like to say I’m a walking miracle, but I’m just happy to have straight hair for a few hours. My hair is so curly, it will be back to normal by this evening!
I see, well I can’t really comment on that as I don’t suffer from that dilemma.
So, How about your job? Last time we bumped into each other, you had just started a new job in an accounting firm. Are you getting on well there?
It’s a funny thing you should ask. I have just come away from my office with some good news. They have decided to transfer me to the London office for a month to turn things around there. Business is dragging a little there and I’m considered to be the best man for that type of thing.
Congratulations, Anthony! You deserve it. I hope they are covering your expenses.
Well, in fact they have rented an apartment for me just near the office in Berkeley Square. It’s very nice and spacious, which is more than I could ask for. Have you ever been to London?
I’ve been twice since last year. I plan on visiting again in April as the parks are beautiful at that time. (phone ringing.) Oh my gosh! I totally forgot I had to meet my friend for coffee fifteen minutes ago. That’s her now. She must have been waiting for me in the cafe for ages. She’s always early. I have to get this call. It’s been great chatting, but I must dash. Bye Anthony! Text me. ok?
Sure Susan! Will do. You had better rush off to the cafe. Catch you later.
It is important to note how the conversation began, how it evolved, and how it was sustained. Finally, notice how it was terminated. All the following factors are important when focussing on improving English speaking skills. Paying compliments, asking how the other person is, reflecting on information received from the other speaker, and including filler phrases such as:
“It’s a funny thing you should ask.”
“Congratulations. You deserve it.”
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