It is often difficult to keep a conversation going in any language. During most of our daily interactions with people, we engage in small talk. Small talk is a short, polite conversation about casual topics such as how your family is, the weather, or current sports news. As language learners, these are the first type of conversations we learn because the questions are easy to form, and we can learn a little about another person.
A great way to begin a longer conversation is to ask questions about the person you are talking to. Everybody likes talking about their own experiences, opinions, and thoughts, so asking questions can allow a longer conversation. Maintaining a conversation in a new language is not easy, but with these tools you can gain confidence in knowing how to express yourself thoroughly.
Start a longer conversation
The best way to show that you want to start a longer conversation is to ask open-endedquestions. Open-ended questions have to be answered with more than one word and allow the other person to talk longer.
- What do you think about ____?
- Have you heard about ____? (If they answer “Yes”:) What do you think?
- What do you like about ___?
- How have you liked living in ___?
Jane: “What are you doing this weekend?”Max: “I don’t know yet. You?”Jane: “I’m going to the museum. Have you heard about the new photography exhibit?”Max: “Yes I have.”Jane: “What do you think about photography?”Max: “I think it can be a beautiful form of art, especially in blank and white. I like to practice photography myself in my spare time.”