English conversation course with a foreigner tutor: individual and small private group classes in Hong Kong
Fluency and understanding improving oral English lessons
In this English conversation course we're going to talk about various topics in the lessons if you are at intermediate or advanced level, that is, you can understand an English speaker and express your thoughts.
There are lots of interesting discussion topics available but you can start any topics you want to talk about. Sometimes topics naturally emerge during the lessons and they often relate to our everyday lives.
At intermediate level the purpose of the class is talk about everyday issues at work, in the street, in a shop etc. using stories and other conversation stimulating methods.
At advanced level we can use topics that relate to success in your career, study, relationship, health, emotion and stress management and understand the social environment we live in.
You can have conversation with the English teacher
- as one segment in your English lessons along with other segments where we focus more on grammar, pronunciation and accuracy, or
- we just discuss various topics (listening and talking) during the whole lesson.
Advanced level comprehension skills - concepts, jokes, humour, metaphors, analogy, stories, sarcasm
If your English is good enough to master everyday communication well, we are going to work on your higher level comprehension skills. This is where you start to understand the hidden meaning of the message, connect ideas together and see the big picture. You will learn to think in English.
If you understand every word but you still cannot understand what they are talking about, it is because you lack information or knowledge about the specific topic or cannot connect the dots.
We are going to learn concepts in various topics. Concepts are complex ideas that might contain other complex ideas. For example, conscious mind, frameworks, power, liberty, balance sheet, derivatives, cardiovascular system. They are not just words you learn in a few seconds. You need to understand related ideas in that field to really understand the speaker's message.
When you learn something at higher level e.g. marketing, science, art therapy, computer programming, yoga, law, accounting, scuba diving, engineering, repairing air-conditioners etc. you learn concepts, not just words any more.
So concepts are complex ideas even if we use only one or two words to name them. Learning concepts means we learn a lot of interrelated concepts and see the connections and hierarchy among them.
For instance, you can learn the word “system” in a few seconds but really understanding systems needs a lot of time. I usually use 5-10 hours to teach system theory. It includes related concepts like positive feedback loop, negative feedback loop, emergent property, leverage, input, output, friction, control, cybernetics etc.
Furthermore, you can learn various theories, principles, rules, processes and procedure when you learn about a concept. So if you really want to understand a word and the world study concepts, not just words.
Jokes, humour, metaphors, analogy, stories, sarcasm, idioms
We are also going to learn about understanding and using metaphors and analogies. These are tools that you can use to explain something that the other person does not understand by using something similar that they understand.
You will learn idioms and expressions. They are a group of words that have a meaning that is not deducible from the meaning of the individual words
An even higher level listening and comprehension skill is when you don't just concentrate on the content but also the context and the structure of the message. We are going to learn about frameworks, perspectives and even system thinking.
Understanding humour, jokes, sarcastic remarks and flirting requires creativity, understanding the culture and sub-culture and some knowledge. We will deal with these, too.
The most popular discussion topics
Influence, control, value creation
- Hiring and firing, interviewing
- Motivating and inspiring
- Strategy and business system building
- Business planning
- Healthy eating
- Sleeping well
- Physical exercise
- Personal responsibility vs system dependence
- Habit changing
- Emotion and stress management
- Strategic, system and probability thinking
- Control, power, influence
- Changing habits
- Effective learning and teaching
Topics about the society and social institutions
- Social constructs: language, money, rules, culture, symbols
- Social institutions: government, education and health system, social network and taxation
- Money and the financial system
- Practical spirituality
The flow of a lesson
You are always welcome to start any topics in the lesson. The best scenario is when we engage in a topic so deeply that we do not even think that it is an English lesson. I want you to focus on the topic we discuss and feel confident to express yourself without concentrating the accuracy of your speaking too much. Just relax and don't be nervous in the classroom.
We can talk about what has happened to you or me recently. We can talk about your work, business, office or school. Besides our every day life, we can discuss our ideas and opinion about anything: the government, education system, financial system (investments, money), health and fitness, sports, music, movies, career, travel experiences, family issues etc.