Learning beginning calling English makes up an essential part of communicating through the English language. Whether calling a friend or conducting a conference call, communicating by telephone is applicable to everyday situations. According to Colorado State University, the four necessary skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking play a vital role in learning English. BBC.com provides exercises utilising these four skills for beginning English speakers. This website is designed to guide beginner students through telephone conversations, while providing help and advice from BBC Language experts.
- Skill level:
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Navigate to the BBC website (see link in Resources section), and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on the "Learning English" tab, then click on "General & Business English." At the bottom of the page under the "Other Series" tab, click "Talking Business." Choose Module One, entitled "Telephone." Five different telephone conversation topics appear, arranged from easiest to most difficult. Click on "Connecting," then read the introduction.
Read the first section of the page, entitled "Think." Keep an English translation dictionary handy for terms that may be too difficult to understand. For extra practice, BBC.com suggests writing down your ideas as well.
Listen to the audio conversation two to three times. Play the audio an additional time for further comprehension if needed. Colorado State University lists listening as the most used of the four skills essential for learning English. Repeat the audio conversation two to three times. Most adults learning the English language consider speaking as the main goal, according to Colorado State University. Click on the box entitled "Language Expert." This page provides a detailed explanation of the multi-word verbs.
Read the conversation below the "Check Understanding" section. Download the audio and scripts. Practice the conversation with a friend. After reading through the conversation, change roles. Colorado State University reports that role-playing will further the understanding of both parts of the conversation.
Take the quiz using the flash or text version. Click on the "What's Next" tab and begin learning the next phase of telephone English.
Tips and warnings
- After completing all five telephone conversation topics, return to the main page to learn the next module of conversation English.
- Do not worry about making mistakes. According to Colorado State University, quantity over quality will allow students to communicate more freely when speaking English.
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- Colorado State University: Writing at CSU: English Skills
- BBC: Learning English: Talking Business: Telephone Connecting
- Colorado State University: Writing at CSU: Teaching Listening
- BBC: Learning English: Talking Business: Telephone: Language Expert
- Colorado State University: Writing at CSU: Teaching Speaking