Not much more to say than that. I’m not talking about taking up extra lessons with a teacher or another class to improve some other area of your English. I’m talking about just getting out there and speaking it!
Places to go: (Yes I am giving you an exciting weekend routine full of fun and adventure in English)
The Taxi Ride
Okay the conversation can be limited, but it is a good warm up. You have just had a night of dreams (in your native language) and your mind is a bit muddled in terms of language. So a taxi conversation is a nice easy way to break the ice into the ‘English day’.
Start with of course –
“Can I go to…”
“How much is that?”
The Restaurant (for lunch of course!)
Again more language that has been practice many times, but your are still warming yourself up here and letting a few new words and phrases come.
“Can I have a table for two….”
“Can I see the menu….”
“Can I have…”
“Do you have any….”
“I’d like to drink…”
“Yes it’s delicious thanks…”
A Great American Action movie
So there won’t be any interaction going on here, but listening and watching an action movie with your favourite action star can be good for the mind to soak in the language and catch up on some new American slang…
Just get that bag of popcorn, relax and let the pictures and language come…
Conversation starting time in a café
You’ve just seen the movie and now you are looking for a coffee and relaxation time. This is also your most important time for conversation and using all the language you have been practicing and listening to on the movie. Here are some really great conversation starters with people you don’t really know well….
“Excuse me, I have just seen a movie and was wondering if you can tell me what ………(word you heard on the movie) means?” (It would be good if you already know the word, because you don’t want to ask them a rude word, or they may run away….) This is such a great conversation starter because people are always willing to help out someone with something small…. The conversation can lead onto…“Where are you from..?” etc.
(Perhaps you are looking at a menu) “Excuse me, can you tell me what a ‘carrot cake’ is?” (or something on the menu). Again it opens up the conversation to lead to other discussion.
(Something happens outside of the café and you can comment on it) “It looks like the sun is finally coming out….” Or “Wow some people really know how to dress in bright colours”… make sure these things are actually happening. Just watch the world go by and there will definitely be something to make a comment about.
Time to get some food for your dinner. This is a perfect ‘warm down’. Again using your simple language of,
“Do you have any….?”
“I’m looking for some…..”
“What is on special today…”
“How much is that…..?”
Also the supermarket is also a great place to start making a conversation. You can pick up something off the shelf and ask someone to help you read one of the labels, and ask them what it means……good conversation starter there. As I said earlier, people are always willing to help out a foreigner if it is just a small request.
Home for Dinner
Our brain does need some time out, so just relax for a few hours and let yourself think whatever you want….you never know you may find yourself starting to even think in English! This is also a very important part of practicing English. Letting everything just…..relax.
A Friend’s Party
Okay not every Saturday night is going to be full of socializing, maybe you are just going to watch another movie at home. But let’s say you do get the chance to go to a party or somewhere where there are possibly some native speakers.
Firstly……when you arrive, look around the room, and note who you think is a native speaker and make a decision that you would like to start talking to that person some time during the night.
It’s easy when you have had a day like today because you have something to talk about.
“Hi, just wondered if you have seen” …..(the movie your saw this afternoon)
“I was sitting in a café today and I noticed people here wear really bright colours, is that something that is usual for this country?”
…and so on.
You have had some experiences through the day to talk about. And of course, you can ask the same questions to many people, you are looking for opinions. That makes the conversation even better.
The day has now ended, you have done all the things you enjoy (e.g. eating, going to movies, drinking coffee…), AND you have been practicing your English.
Let me know what you do in the weekend to practice your English.
Please comment on some of the difficulties you have had starting a conversation in English.
Or even better, tell me about some funny experiences you have had of when things went wrong or turned a bit weird!….
- Making Plans for the Weekend
- The World Cafe
- How to Choose Restaurant Menu Items
- How Listening to Music Makes you Smarter