Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to the Monthly Review!
The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips, study tools, and resources.
By the way, all the lessons and bonuses you’re about to see can be downloaded for free on our website.
So, click the link in the description right now to sign up for your free lifetime account.
Okay, today’s topic is:
How to Start Conversations: Talking Points for Language Learners
How do you start a conversation in a language that you’re learning? Believe it or not, it’s actually very easy to do. And in this lesson, we’ll give you tips and resources to get you speaking more of your target language. You’ll discover:
One: Talking Points for Language Learners
Two: The Top 5 Ways to Start a Conversation
And Three: Resources to Help You Master These Talking Points
But first! Here are this month’s new lessons and resources. Be sure to download these now before we take them down in a few days.
First — The “Renting an Apartment” Conversation Cheat Sheet
Learn how to say “how much is the rent,” “how many bedrooms are there” and much more... with this new PDF cheat sheet.
Second — Visual Flashcards That’ll Improve Your Vocabulary
Want to speak more of the language? You’ll need to learn more words. And with our new, printable Visual Flashcards, you’ll easily master over 1,500 words. Just download and print these Visual Flashcards out.
Third — The Top 50 Marine Animals &Fish
How well do you know animal names in your target language?
With this quick lesson, you'll learn how to say shark, whale, dolphin, and much more.
Fourth - How to Talk About Your Day in 20 Phrases
If you can’t talk about your day yet, this 1-minute lesson will get you speaking.
You’ll learn 20 must-know phrases: From talking about waking up and brushing your teeth, to dinner and going to sleep.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Ok, let’s jump into today’s topic:
How to Start Conversations: Talking Points for Language Learners
Starting a conversation can be intimidating for most people, even in their own native language. So, it’s understandable if you feel even more intimidated starting a conversation in another language.
But if you do want to speak more of your target language and get more practice, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do — have conversations with native speakers.
Part One: Talking Points for Language Learners
The good news is, starting a conversation in another language is much easier... because 1) Native speakers will realize that you’re learning and will go easy on you.
And 2) you don’t know enough of the language to worry about saying something clever. And that’s totally fine. So you can easily start with basic phrases.
So, how exactly do you start a conversation?
You’ll need something called a talking point. A talking point is simply a topic or a thing to talk about. For example, weather’s a very common talking point. You can say “Nice weather today” to someone and start a conversation from that. And after that, you can ask them where they’re from… or talk about the city like “Wow, this is a great city”... which is another basic talking point.... And now you have a conversation going — all from a simple talking point and a simple comment about the weather.
So, what are some common talking points?
Let’s get into part 2.
Part 2: The Top 5 Ways to Start a Conversation
Again, a good thing about having conversations in another language is that it’s okay (and natural) to focus on simple topics for a while.
So, here are 5 easy ways to start conversations in your target language.
And if you’re already learning with our language program, then you’ve already learned some of these within your first few lessons.
1) Introduce Yourself in your Target Language
Sometimes, starting a conversation, or continuing one, is as simple as introducing yourself.
You can also use this if you've started with a different topic, like...the weather. Then, it makes sense to say “by the way, my name is…”
You’ll learn how to introduce yourself in the very first lesson of our program.
2) The Weather
People talk about the weather all over the world, so you should learn weather phrases in your target language. Just saying “it’s really nice today” is enough to start a conversation. If you want to talk about the weather, check out our “can talk about weather” learning pathway. This series of lessons teaches you how to talk about the weather - in your target language.
3) Compliments. Compliments are a great way to start a conversation.
You can compliment something about their city, their country… or something about their culture.
4): Ask for Help. So for example, you can ask for directions, about the price of something, and let the conversation go from there. These are very basic phrases that you learn in our Survival Phrases lessons.
And 5) Learn Phrases for Transactions. Like getting a room at a hotel, or telling the taxi driver where to go. These are very easy ways to start a dialogue...and you can easily move into other topics. Again, you learn all of these with our Survival Phrases lessons.
Of course, these are not the only talking points or icebreakers you can use. If you can think of more, go ahead and use them. Which one would you use? Leave us a comment.
Now, how do you actually learn the language around these talking points?
Part 3: Resources to Help You Master These Talking Points
First, take our lessons.
If you haven’t yet signed up for a free lifetime account to our learning program, you can do so now. In every lesson, you learn a basic conversation - like weather, introducing yourself, asking for directions, and more — and this gives you all the lines you’ll need to start and continue a conversation in real life. And if you want to find lessons related to a specific talking point - like the weather - you can find them in our lesson library.
Second, use our conversation PDF cheat sheets. These cheat sheets are a quick summary of our actual lessons… and give you the must-know phrases and vocabulary for topics like family, weather, travel, getting directions and much more.
Third, come up with a list of phrases and questions you’d want to use in a conversation…
And then ask your Premium PLUS teacher for translations. Or, use an online translation tool - although it may always not be perfect. Either way, you’ll have lines that you can use to start conversations.
Fourth, use our free vocabulary and phrase lists. There, you’ll find hundreds of vocabulary and phrase lists across all kinds of topics - holidays, common phrases, phrases for weather, phrases for restaurants, and much more.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we'll talk about...
The seven skills you'll need for language mastery.
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See you next time! Bye!