Meeting Foreigners

Meeting Foreigners

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.” ― Winston Churchill, Never Give In!: The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches

 

people in a lineA great way to practice your English speaking skills is to talk to foreigners. However you just can’t ask them if you can use them as a free teaching session. Here are some ideas on how you can meet and talk to foreigners.

Welcome to this audio session on meeting foreigners. We will talk about where and how you can meet foreigners and talk with them in English.

Many foreigners don’t mind talking with you as long as you are polite and don’t make it seem that you are practicing your English on them. In other words, don’t go and ask them “Hello can I practice speaking with you?”. Be genuine and approach them as you would a friend.

After saying hello, you can ask them where they’re from, and how long they have been in your country. Once they answer then you can ask them about their country. Use safe topics like comparing the weather. Engage them in small talk so that you do not ask many personal questions.

Foreigners value their privacy so asking about family and money are not good questions.

A good way to talk with a foreigner is if they are in a coffee shop or fast food restaurant line, not at a table eating or drinking. When they are in the line, you can ask them if they need help with ordering. This will be seen as a good gesture and will be appreciated. When they are eating or drinking, especially if they are with their friends or possibly their family, that is private time and you should not approach them.

A supermarket is also a possible place where you can talk to a foreigner without it seeming that you are practicing your English. Ask them if you can help them and then you may be able or talk about the food in their country.

One place that may not be a good place to approach foreigners is in a bar or club. Usually they are there with friends and they may not want to talk with you and the language they use may not be appropriate.

If you approach a foreigner correctly, you will be able to talk with them and practice your English speaking. Don’t be afraid to try this, you never know, you may find out a lot of very fascinating things not only about the person but also about his country.

Michael

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