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Listen to a new episode of Speak English Now Podcast, your favorite material for practicing your spoken and heard English. You will also learn about lifestyle and culture, language, vocabulary, and how to improve your English more effectively.

Transcript:

Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

In this episode, let’s look at some bad strategies and attitudes that don’t quite work in conversation. I mean, like having awkward conversations.

Next, you’ll practice your fluency with a mini-story lesson—the best way to learn to speak English without translating mentally.

All right, have you ever been with someone and not know what to talk about? It’s happened to me sometimes. Every once in a while, we run into situations where it’s difficult to continue the conversation.

One example is what happens in an elevator. Imagine that you meet a neighbor you hardly know, and a typical dialogue ends up going like this:

—Good morning.

—Good morning.

—Going down?

—Yes.

— …

— It’s cold today, isn’t it?

— Yes, yes. It’s going to be like this all week, they say…

— …

As you can see, this conversation is not very intellectual. It’s more about avoiding silence, which can be uncomfortable.

This doesn’t just happen in elevators but in all kinds of social interactions. I read recently that a silence of four seconds or more triggers anxiety.

It doesn’t get any better when you have to speak in a language you are learning. You have even fewer resources to express yourself.

Today we are going to see which topics or strategies do not work well in conversations, especially with strangers.  The goal, I think, is to have a somewhat interesting conversation.

Come on, let’s move on to the first one:

Talking about the weather

Talking about the weather is not a bad thing, but if we only talk about it or any other obvious things, we are not going to make a good impression.

Now I can think of a couple of situations where talking about the weather is an awful strategy.

— A first date:

Talking for 45 minutes about whether it’s raining or hot or cold or windy isn’t going to make you more attractive.

Job interview:

Let’s see…you don’t know what to say…better not start commenting that it’s a cold and foggy morning.

However, there are also exceptions. If you have a date with someone who works in meteorology or your job interview is to work as a meteorologist… well, yes, of course, you have to talk about the weather, right?

Let’s see the next one:

[END OF THE EXTRACT]

Resources:

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