functional english

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The term “functional” should be considered in the broad sense of providing learners with the skills and
abilities they need to take an active and responsible role in their communities, everyday life, the
workplace and educational settings. Functional English requires learners to communicate in ways that
make them effective and involved as citizens, to operate confidently and to convey their ideas and
opinions clearly.

Conversation: Conversation in plain context means the use of speech for informal exchange of views or
ideas or information, or the spoken exchange of thoughts, opinions and feelings. It needs at least two
persons to carry out a conversation because it is interactive and participants take turns to exchange
messages. Therefore, conversation is fundamentally a sequential activity. Strong conversation skills
benefit both the speaker and the listener in several ways.
• It promotes friendship and develops confidence to express ones ideas succinctly to build rapport.
• It sharpens ones listening strategies to gain information and thus integrate confidence and
competence into ones conversational behavior.
• If one has good conversation skills, one can be confident in any conversation context and eventually
become an effective communicator.
•Having good conversation starter skills are a key to success.
There are few obstacles in developing good conversation skills:
*One of the important problems with communicating with others is that we all see the world differently.
As a result, their perception of the world is limited and so they cannot think beyond certain parameters
* The fear of what others think of them prevents their
development as effective communicators.
*Conversations in English mainly due to lack of adequate vocabulary.

Creating Safety: All relationships, whether outside or within the workplace, can be temporarily or
permanently derailed simply because individuals do not feel safe to say what they are really thinking.
One of the keys to good dialogue is learning how to build safety into a conversation and maintain it

Dos and the Don’ts of a conversation.
1. Look at the person or people you are talking to
2. If you haven’t met before, introduce yourself and ask their name
3. Use a person’s name when talking to them
4. Ask questions when you don’t understand something
5. Stick to the subject
6. Say nice things about people and praise those who deserve it
7. It’s fine to disagree, but disagree politely
And Don’ts
1. Don’t fiddle, look elsewhere, or wander off while someone else is talking
2. Don’t listen in on conversations you aren’t part of
3. Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking
4. Don’t whisper in front of another person
5. Don’t whine, rattle, brag, or say mean things about others
6. Don’t ask personal questions
7. Don’t point or stare
8. Don’t argue about things that aren’t important


Role play is defined as an experience around a specific situation which contains two or more different
viewpoints or perspectives. The situation is usually written as a prepared brief and the different
perspectives on the same situation are handed out to the different people who will come together to
discuss the situation. Each person will have a particular objective, or objectives they want to fulfil which
may well be in conflict with their fellow role player or role players. It is how each role player handles the
situation that forms the basis of skills practice, assessment and development.

Role play rules are basically simple: role plays must be focused; the objectives must be clear and
understood; instructions must be clear and understood; feedback needs to be specific, relevant,
achievable and given immediately. Crucial to learning and developing options of behaviour – knowing
what works, what doesn’t work, the range of behaviour available to an individual – is the opportunity to
go back and have another go or several goes at bits of the role play and/or the whole role play. This
flexibility needs judging and managing on each occasion, so as to provide a more comfortable
experience, and to double the learning value.

Opinions, Preferences: I think…, In my opinion…, I’d like to…, I’d rather…, I’d prefer…, The way I see it…,
As far as I’m concerned…, If it were up to me…, I suppose…, I suspect that…, I’m pretty sure that…, It is
fairly certain that…, I’m convinced that…, I honestly feel that, I strongly believe that…, Without a
Disagreeing: I don’t think that…, Don’t you think it would be better…, I don’t agree, I’d prefer…,
Shouldn’t we consider…, But what about…, I’m afraid I don’t agree…, Frankly, I doubt if…, Let’s face it,
The truth of the matter is…, The problem with your point of view is that…
Giving Reasons and offering explanations: To start with, The reason why…, That’s why…, For this
reason…, That’s the reason why…, Many people think…., Considering…, Allowing for the fact that…,
When you consider that…