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Improvisational English Conversation

May 21st, 2010

One of the best ways to help an English language student stay motivated about learning English is making sure the student has a chance to practice the English they are learning. When a student actually uses English in a conversation, it is the natural way to practice and also a good way to help a student understand where they are strong in their English language skills. Speaking English in a conversation can also help a student understand where they may need more study and practice to improve their English language ability. Best of all, a student can actually start to see their progress and this will motivate more progress through further study and practice.

One way to practice English conversation is through certain activities that are commonly used in acting classes. Such activities can help students to use their English in new ways and adapt to a variety of English language situations. Improvisational acting is one of the most fun ways of practicing the English language. The practice can truly allow students to be creative in using the English that they already know in a conversation with other students. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.

Improvisational Practice 1

Start by getting together with one or more other English language students and a native English language speaker. It is best to choose someplace relatively quiet, such as a room or someplace quiet outdoors. In this activity, two people basically stand or sit and have an English language conversation. It can be about an object in the room or about something that the people watching the conversation suggest. For instance, two people sit and talk about a picture on the wall, describing its colors and so on. When the conversation about the picture starts to get too quiet or slow, a person watching the conversation states a new topic for the people to talk about. This keeps the conversation moving and also makes the activity really fun. The topic can be anything, but it is best to choose topics that are related to the kind of English the students speaking are learning about or things that they like. If the students are learning English primarily for business, then choose business topics. The native English speaker corrects any improper English that may be spoken in the conversation.

Improvisational Practice 2

This is another fun improvisational activity that can be good for improving English language ability. Again, a student should get together with at least one other English language student and a native English speaker. Two native English speakers is also fine for the activity. Before you begin, make a list of roles for one person to play. This can include a role of a store clerk, a restaurant waiter, etc. The other person will just interact with the person playing a role by acting naturally. For instance, the two people pretend to be at a restaurant and one person pretends to be choosing food from a menu. The other person pretends to be a waiter who is writing their order and bringing the food. The people can either take turns pretending to be one of the roles, or one person can play all of the roles while the other person just acts naturally. A native English speaker watching can suggest a new role from the list when the two people have slowed down or run out of things to say.

Have fun improving your English language ability with improvisational English conversation.