Adult|Welcome|Small talk|Intermediate

pic1_Aloha|Small talk|Int

Discuss the questions with your teacher

1. What is small talk?

2. In which situations would you expect to make small talk?

3. Which topics are appropriate for small talk?

4. Is making small talk typical in your country?

pic2_Aloha|Small talk|Int

Read the conversations

Man Woman

M: That was an incredible workshop, wasn’t it?

W: Yes, it was! I learned so much. What about you?

M: Well, in general, it was very useful. But the middle part seemed boring to me.

W: Did it? Anyway, what company are you from?

M: I’m from Syberry. We develop software for bars and restaurants.

W: Oh, really? Sounds interesting.

M: You’re from Dakiba, aren’t you? I see their logo on your jacket.

W: Yes, I am! Here is my business card. Do you have time? I don’t want to keep you any longer.

M: Not at all! It’s a pleasure. So, what did you think of the speaker?


Jessica Tom

J: Hi, I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Jessica, Carol’s bridesmaid.

T: Hey, Jessica, nice to meet you. I’m Tom, I’m a friend of Jason’s, the groom.

J: Are you? What a coincidence! How do you know Jason?

T: We went to university together.

J: Really? Cool!

T: And you? How long have you known Carol?

J: We’re childhood friends. We met in kindergarten, you know.

T: Wow, that’s amazing! Have you tried the chocolate cake, by the way? It’s delicious!

J: Not yet. Do you want to show me where it is?

T: Sure thing! Follow me.


Barista Сustomer

B: Hey, how’s it going? Good?

С: Good, thanks! You?

B: Awesome! So, what can I get you?

С: Hmm, let me think… One americano, please. With sugar, to go.

B: Sure! It’ll be done in a minute. So, how was your weekend?

С: Fine, I guess. Nothing special, I just spent the day at home, watching YouTube. What about you?

B: Oh, I had a sick party with my bros! It was epic! Your coffee is done. Here you go.

С: Thanks.

B: So, do you come here often?

С: I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m in a bit of a hurry, sorry.

B: No worries! Have a nice day!

С: Thank you. You too.


Man Woman

M: Hey. I see you’re a fan of New York Yankees.

W: Not really, why? Oh, you mean my cap? It’s my boyfriend’s.

M: Is it? Cool. I love this song! Do you know what it is?

W: No, sorry.

M: It’s fine. Do you know a lot of people here?

W: Listen, I’m really sorry to cut you off, but I need to get another drink.

M: Sure, no problem. Nice meeting you.

W: You too.


Choose a conversation which best illustrates each of the social situations


Small talk is one of the most important rituals of American culture. In the US a stranger in an elevator or a barista at a coffee house can smile at you and ask «Hey, how are you?». For foreigners, it may seem unusual and strange.

pic3_Aloha|Small talk|Int

 

HW tasks


Tick phrases according to the category that illustrates their purpose


Crutch words is a slang term used for fillers (parasite words) — the words which help fill the silence in conversations.

Examples: like, you know, so, etc.

pic4_Aloha|Small talk|Int


Choose the appropriate topics. Explain your choices

Appropriate small talk topics:

🔹Weather
🔹Religion
🔹Current events
🔹Food
🔹Money
🔹Common friends
🔹Work
🔹Opinions
🔹Health
🔹Politics

pic5_Aloha|Small talk|Int


Complete the questions

Watch the video and answer the questions

Thank you very much for being here, I appreciate you coming today, and… You know, as you know, I am not just a talk show host, I am also a cover girl.

And part of a talk show host and a cover girl job is, ah, I have to go to a lot of events and I have to talk a lot. And usually, I love talking. I love talking to people and, uh. But, you know, last week I was at this event, and I saw this woman across the room, and we didn’t know each other, but we caught each other’s eye and we… we knew of each other, because we’re both in «the biz». And, ah… So, she starts heading towards me, and I’m thinking «well, here comes small talk», ’cause that’s what happens when you don’t know somebody, so… She walks over, and, you know, we’re like, you know, «Hi.» «Hi.» and I’m, like, «Nice to meet you.», and she’s like «Nice to meet you.» and «How are you?» «Good, good. You? How’re you?» «Good, good. Good. Work? How’s work?» «Great! Work is great.» «Are you busy?» «Busy? Yes.» «Well, it’s good to be busy.» «Yes, we’re happy to be busy. You know?»

«This is nice, isn’t it? This is a nice, uh…» «It is. It’s nice. This is pretty, the way they’ve decorated it.» «Sure is cold!» «Yeah, and, outside or in here? Outside, yes, out…? Yes, there’s cold everywhere, it’s cold, so cold everywhere, it’s winter.»

And, you know, and there were pauses in-between those sentences that were longer, I’m not going to draw them out for you, but, but they were… And, and she was completely comfortable with the pauses. Just complete… There’s silence, and it was up to me to keep the conversation going. ‘Cause I’m a talk show host? Is it my job to keep making the small talk? And so then, of course, we’ve run out of things, so then it turns to traffic, ’cause that’s what you do. You’re just, like, you know… «Did you get traffic getting here?» «Yeah, I did, crazy traffic.» «Oh, I didn’t have any traffic.» «Oh, you didn’t? Did you take Sunset?» «No, I cut through Cherokee.» «I didn’t know you could cut through Cherokee.» «Yeah, if you cut through Cherokee, you avoid the Sunset traffic.» «Well, I’ll do that next time.» «Well, ok, bye, nice meeting you.» And then, long story short — the Queen of England is boring. That’s the… im… Boring!

But you have to make small talk, you really do, and it’s very important at parties, ’cause you can’t just stand there and nod and smile your way through life, unless you’re sister-wife, but I think that everyone struggles with what to say at parties, so what I thought… Well, of course, I’m driving home going «Oh, I should’ve said this, I should’ve said that.». So, what I thought I’d do is help all of you out, I’d give you topics to, ah… If you’re at a party like this and have the same situation. So, here’s something that I thought «this, this could be a conversation starter»

Why are there commercials on TV for cotton? It’s 2011, is anyone out there still not sold on cotton? «Cotton? Uhhh, nooo… I don’t like it.» Or I don’t know why Olive Garden says «When you’re here, you’re family», ’cause if we were family, we wouldn;t have to pay. We’re not family! Ah-uh, don’t buy it! And then, why is the pageant called «Miss Universe» if there are never any aliens in it? I’m always… Where are the green ones?

Hopefully, these topics will help you, and if you’re ever just get stuck and you run out of ways to express yourself, you can always express yourself in dance.


1. Who is the cover girl?

2. What topics did Ellen discuss during the small talk?

3. Who was Ellen talking to?

4. What tips did Ellen give?

Spin the wheel and think of how you would start a conversation in each of these situations


Pick a situation and role-play small talk with your teacher

You are on a small plane and you’re sitting next to a very well-dressed person. What would you say? Make interesting small talk.

Useful language

🔹That was an incredible workshop, wasn’t it?
🔹Hey! I see you’re…
🔹Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.
🔹Hey, how’s it going?
🔹So, do you…
🔹Let me think…
🔹Well, …
🔹By the way, …
🔹Anyway, …
🔹Did you?
🔹Oh, really?
🔹Cool!
🔹And you?
🔹What about you?
🔹I’m really sorry to cut you off, but…
🔹I’d love to stay and chat, but…
🔹I don’t want to keep you any longer.
🔹It was nice talking to you.

You are on a small plane and you’re sitting next to a very well-dressed person. What would you say? Make interesting small talk.

Useful language

🔹That was an incredible workshop, wasn’t it?
🔹Hey! I see you’re…
🔹Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.
🔹Hey, how’s it going?
🔹So, do you…
🔹Let me think…
🔹Well, …
🔹By the way, …
🔹Anyway, …
🔹Did you?
🔹Oh, really?
🔹Cool!
🔹And you?
🔹What about you?
🔹I’m really sorry to cut you off, but…
🔹I’d love to stay and chat, but…
🔹I don’t want to keep you any longer.
🔹It was nice talking to you.

You are on a small plane and you’re sitting next to a very well-dressed person. What would you say? Make interesting small talk.

Useful language

🔹That was an incredible workshop, wasn’t it?
🔹Hey! I see you’re…
🔹Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.
🔹Hey, how’s it going?
🔹So, do you…
🔹Let me think…
🔹Well, …
🔹By the way, …
🔹Anyway, …
🔹Did you?
🔹Oh, really?
🔹Cool!
🔹And you?
🔹What about you?
🔹I’m really sorry to cut you off, but…
🔹I’d love to stay and chat, but…
🔹I don’t want to keep you any longer.
🔹It was nice talking to you.

pic6_Aloha|Start-up|Int


1. Was the lesson difficult? Why/Why not?

2. Do you find the lesson useful? What did you learn today?

3. What would you like to change or improve?

pic6_Aloha|Small talk|Int


Complete the sentences with the given words

pic7_Aloha|Small talk|Int


Complete each question with the right question word

Rearrange the words and complete the sentences.

Example: I promised to meet my sister in half an hour.

pic8_Aloha|Small talk|Int


Match small talk tips with the explanations

Example:

Use thinking words (um, well, so, etc.) to give yourself more time for the answer. But try not to overuse them, as it may make you sound uncultured.
Урок Homework Курс
  • Small Talk: Discuss the questions
  • Small Talk: Simple conversation
  • Small Talk: Phrases
  • Small Talk: The right topics
  • Small Talk: The right questions
  • Small Talk: Memorable Monologue
  • Small Talk: Starting conversations
  • Small Talk: Role play
  • Small Talk: Lesson results
  • Small Talk: Starters
  • Small Talk: Questions
  • Small Talk: Finishers
  • Small Talk: Best techniques
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