~ Preview Questions ~ See Video Below ~


209Set ~ 3 ~

1) What techniques, methods, or materials can help you learn a foreign language?

2) What techniques, methods, or materials don¡¯t work for you? Why?

3) What positive language learning experiences can you recall? Please share them.

4) What negative language learning experiences can you recall? Please share them.

5) How different is your language compared to English? Describe. Is it a problem?

209Set ~ 2 ~

1) What can you do to put others at ease? What factors can create anxiety in a conversation? How?

2) What are some techniques for putting yourself at ease? What situations give you anxiety? Why?

3) What are some techniques that can ¡°weave in all parties¡± in a conversation. What can cause conflict?

4) Is it possible to have conversations with people with no shared interests? How could this happen?

5) What does the statement: ¡°Directness is a privilege of intimacy¡± mean to you? Explain.


Follow up ~ Try to make some of your own questions regarding conversation.


~ Sites to see ~


1) Have a Great Conversation (WikiHow)

2) The Art of Conversation (The New Yorker)

3) The Art of Conversation (ExperienceLife)

4) Barbara Walters on the Art of Conversation (BrainPickings)

5) Quotes on Conversation (Essential Life Skills)


~ Judy Thompson ~ Secrets You Need to Know About Spoken English ~ From TEDx ~

209Set ~ 4 ~

1) What is your initial impression of the presentation? How much of it do you agree with?

2) What is the difference between ¡°word stress¡± and ¡°sentence stress¡± in the English language?

3) What is ¡°linking¡±? The video didn¡¯t offer much time on this subject. What do you think it is?

4) What is ¡°collocation¡±? How is it different from grammar? Is grammar necessary for language learning?

5) How would you teach a foreigner your language? What would you focus on?

6) What is the global language of the future? Is it English? Why/Why not? Are there other options?


Post-view Questions ~

 ~ Related Links ~

~ Topic Discussion ~ 208 ~ The Art of Conversation ~

Elements of Conversation


Adapted from Wikipedia


Conversation is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people. Typically it occurs in spoken communication, but some written exchanges may also be referred to as conversations. The development of conversational skills and etiquette is an important part of socialization.


We speak to communicate. Language connects our world. Conversation is the medium through which we create human relationships. We need to interact in order to grow together as a community.


Conversation analysis is a branch of sociology which studies the structure and organization of human interaction with a more specific focus on conversational interaction.



~ Adapted from ¡°The Art of Conversation¡± ~


¡°Whatever the context, old friends or new, it is best if speakers respect five principles:


1) Put others at ease

2) Put yourself at ease

3) Weave in all parties

4) Establish shared interests

5) Actively pursue your own ideas


Pose questions that circle someone¡¯s willingness to discuss personal matters, noting whether the other speaker prefers a sharp or gentle approach and adapting accordingly. Remember that although small talk aims to please, don¡¯t make it obvious. Too much kindness may seem aggressive.


There is some research that suggests that we measure, to a high degree, a conversation by how interested we are in what the other person said. We revere the other. At the same time, we regard less interesting ¡°others¡± in our conversations as less relevant. We then may be more likely to rate our own performance as more exceptional, perhaps overestimating our own level of significance in the given context.


Two powerful pieces of advice:


1) Hear what people are really saying as opposed to what they are telling you.

2) Directness is a privilege of intimacy.



209Set ~ 1 ~

1) How important is conversation for you on a day-to-day basis? Why?

2) Who do you usually have conversations with? Who do you like to talk to?

3) What do you like to talk about? What do your friends like to talk about?

4) What is the difference between joking/kidding, and telling a joke? What¡¯s a ¡°punch line¡±?

5) What is the difference between chatting and gossiping? Is gossiping  common in your community?

6) What¡¯s the difference between arguing, quarrelling, and fighting? Can you give examples?

7) What person (alive or dead) would you like to have a face-to-face conversation with? Why?

8) What is ¡°wit¡±? Examine ¡°quips/retorts¡± and ¡°repartee¡±? Can you describe the differences?

Breaktime: Are these sentences funny¡¦ or not?


1) If you want to catch a squirrel just climb a tree and act like a nut.

2) How does NASA organize their company parties? They planet.

3) What do you call dangerous precipitation? A rain of terror.

4) I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

5) How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it.

~ TLW ~ Topics for Discussion ~ Page Two

~ Discuss with a teacher, in pairs, or in groups ~ Then share your results in a classroom discussion ~

1) To begin with, in groups or in pairs, select the questions you¡¯d like to talk about. 

2) Then, in pairs or in groups, ask questions and share ideas in your conversations .

3) Finally, share your ideas (as a whole) in a classroom discussion (with all pairs/groups).


For specifics, see TLW Classroom Lesson Procedures: Click here     Click to print QUESTIONS/QUESTIONS

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