Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Nanning.

Lesson Plans for "Watch, Listen & Speak", Semester 2



Listening & Speaking, Making Small Talk



Making Small Talk:

What is Small Talk? What is it about? When does it happen? Typical subjects for small talk are weather, sports, movies, and current events. Small talk tends to be rich in slang and idioms.
Some topics are not appropriate for small talk: very personal information, politics, money and religion. It is also common for English people to make small talk about news reports and to express their feelings about what they have heard or read.

Examples of Small Talk:

  • "Where are you going on vacation?"

  • "What are your plans for the weekend?"

  • "How long have you worked here?"

  • "Which sports do you like?"

Speaking Exercise: Break up into pairs or small groups and use these questions to initiate practice conversations.






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