Part I INTEGRATED COURSE
Text A Making Friends (1)
Though people may want to know some new friends, they often feel awkward talking to strangers, especially those from countries other than their own. Many people are hesitant to speak with people that they do not know well or people who are outside their previous experiences. In addition, people often do not know what to talk about to strangers or how to keep the conversation moving.
If you want to know new friends, one important piece of advice is this: Make the first move yourself. It is common and acceptable to start conversations, even with strangers or casual acquaintances. Don’t wait around for others to talk to you. Start a conversation yourself. Ask questions. Show that you are interested in getting to know them. Of course, not every conversation will result in friendship, but if you don’t start conversations, you will have much less chance of making friends.
If someone seems friendly but you have only exchanged greetings, try starting a conversation. There are a number of possible subjects for casual conversation. For example, people may like to talk about their work if they are employed, their classes and majors if they are students.
You should also be prepared to answer questions in a conversation. For example, if you are a student, be prepared to talk briefly and generally about your major, your classes, and your future plans. In addition, it is helpful to keep up with current events—what is going on in your school, your local area, the country, and so on—and be able to talk about them.
When you ask questions in a conversation, don’t skip around from one topic to another (though finding a topic to talk about may provide a few questions). Follow up one question with a related one. Of course, you do not need to continue with a subject if the other person’s answers indicate that he/she is not interested in discussing it.