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Why state the obvious? Why take turns asking questions? Why ask follow up questions?
Common sense and social skills don’t seem to be universal. Conversation skills remain a vital soft skill that many scientists, engineers, shy people, and English language learners struggle to master. A key technique is just asking simple questions to keep a conversation moving forward.
Asking follow up questions can provide clarity and allow our conversation partners to elaborate on details. English teachers, especially when reviewing fluency skills, can introduce common phrases to help ESL and EFL students improve their fluency. Use these simple phrases to go beyond hello and create better conversations.
You can also encourage your conversation partner with simple phrases.
Tell me more!
Smiling and nodding your head also indicate interest and encourage your conversation partner. Yet asking follow up questions and turn taking remain key elements of a natural, satisfying conversation. Everyone in a conversation should both be and feel included, and asking questions remains essential in both superficial and deep conversations. English teachers can gently remind their ESL students of this technique as part of fluency.