Getting Ideas for Speaking.

A difficulty that many learners of English experience is that they get stuck and start thinking ‘Oh No! What do I talk about?’. I would like to offer some tips that might help:

Use wh_ words as triggers: 

The most useful wh_words are what… | why… | how… Use these words to think of content. For example, if you are talking about a news story that was of interest to you, then ideas can come from:

  • What the story was about…
  • Why the news story was interesting…
  • How you felt about the news story… Remember that the how trigger will be about the good or bad things connected to the topic that you are talking about. In this example, you can talk about what was good about the presentation, the filming, or the content.

‘The Rule of Three’. 

This ‘rule’ simply states that whenever you are speaking in English you can say (or write) two or three things for each point. Let’s go back to the example above: you are talking about a news story that was interesting. You want to use what/ why / how to start off with. Following the ‘rule’ of three, then you need to mention three points that the news story was about, such as the start, the middle and the end of the story. You can offer two or three (not one!) reasons why the story was interesting. You can think of three good or bad points about the story.

If you can put these two strategies together, you stand the chance of creating up to three times more things to talk about. Hopefully your conversations will be more lively!