1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.
2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.
I want to make English speaking friends but I don’t know how. I put up my profile online and I hang out in online chat rooms but the only people I meet are dirty men and people who don’t really want to help me improve my English. Maybe I will never be a good English speaker. What should I do?
1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.
2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.
John: You ever read advice columns, Dave?
Dave: Not too many. I read Dan Savage a bit. I think he’s pretty funny. But I’ve never read the staple advice columnists, Ann Landers and Dear Abby.
Dave: I think a lot of it is kind of hokey. But, there are people who need advice and they turn to these advice columnists.
John: Well, I guess it’s nice that they can be anonymous with their problems.
Dave: Yeah. And that’s true: you can go to your friends for advice but you’re going to have to, you know, make yourself vulnerable when you talk to them.
John: Right, it would kind of rock the boat with your relationship.
Dave: Yeah, you don’t want to rock the boat.
John: I always wonder if people actually are helped by that kind of thing. I know the, you know the radio show, Loveline...
John: ...with Adam Corolla is really funny. But it sounds like it’s the same problems over and over and over again. You wonder when they hang up the phone are they really, is something solved for them?
John: Or are we just entertained by their problems?
Dave: I think it’s a good point. I think it’s mostly entertainment. Same with Dan Savage. He’s much like the written version of the Loveline show. I don’t know what gets resolved, but it’s entertaining to read.
John: It’s definitely good stuff.
Fear not, Natya. There are plenty of English speaking people out there who would love to be in touch with someone from another culture. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of “dirty men,” as you put it, who are looking for cheap thrills over the internet. The best I can tell you is to ignore them and keep your eyes peeled for someone interesting to communicate with. It might help to explain what you’re looking for in a conversation partner. Do you love graphic design and want to talk to someone about that? Are you interested in law and looking for someone to give you insight into English legal language? Be specific about your interests and you will surely meet someone cool.
P.S. Check out these sites to meet people from all over the world, including native English speakers.
English Language Sites
English, baby! (Of course! Check out the bulletin board and chat room.)
BBC’s Learning English site
ICQ – A general conversation place
If advice is what you’re after, here are some great advice sites:
Relationship & Love Advice
Love advice from Dr. Tracy Cabot
Advice for Teens
Teenwire, Planned Parenthood’s teen web site
General teen web community