Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Episode 8 – Making Small Talk + Intonation In Tag Questions

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to yet another podcast on ESL learning and today I’m bringing you a special treat.

For those of you around the world who wonder what smalltalk is, look no further! I got you covered!

Making Small Talk

It’s really nice today, isn’t it?

Lots of pollution today, right? (in reference to the conditions in Bangkok)

The weather isn’t so great, is it?

Pretty nice place, huh? (I do this quite often when I entertain).

What are you up to these days? (opportunity to tell a story.  If you don’t, I won’t ask again).

How’s your family? (only ask if you know the person and you’re close to their family).

 

Responding

Yeah, the weather is gorgeous! I hope it stays like this!

Yeah, where do you think it comes from? (excellent follow-up question technique.  Show’s the initial speaker that you’re listening and interested).

It’s not great.  Any idea when the rain is going to stop? (it could be rain, sandstorms, cold, hot, etc).

Oh, I’m so busy! I’m working here and there, going to school, preparing to travel, etc. (if you want to mention travel, don’t tell them the place.  Make them ask and continue the conversation). 

My family is doing great.  My mom is _________; brother is __________; sister is __________. Do you have to tell all the personal information? No, optimism and showing keys are the best.

Useful Vocabulary

sunny/cloudy/rainy/stormy

beautiful/terrible/drab/gloomy

school/work/practicing/training

hot/cold/warm/freezing/boiling

 

Intonation In Tag Questions

The intonation falls in tag questions when you expect the listener to agree.

  1. The pasta isn’t very good, is it?
  2. Bad day today, isn’t it?
  3. This train is really packed, isn’t it?
  4. That was an awful movie, wasn’t it?

Podcast

https://www.buzzsprout.com/165390/677579-arsenio-s-esl-podcast-episode-8-making-small-talk-intonation-in-tag-questions.mp3

 

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