Aug 14, 2009

WEEKLY UPDATE: Everyday English

This afternoon, my husband I are headed to our local county fair. Talk about a celebration! But it's a different kind of celebration: Instead of dressing up in a special outfit and polishing up on five-dollar words, we'll be wearing our plain-ol' blue jeans and talking in the argot of the everyday. (Remember our recent discussion about colloquialisms?)

Being down-to-earth doesn't mean dumbing yourself down, however. There are plenty of public speaking opportunities at a county fair—from handing out blue ribbons to pie-makers and pumpkin-growers to emceeing horseback-riding competitions and pig races.

And then there are the individual conversations that are sure to come up as you run into friends, family, and neighbors. These are ideal opportunities to practice new vocabulary words that you've recently added to your personal lexicon. Putting new phrases into practice in everyday conversation gives you a chance to see the reaction others have to these phrases, and to see—in a safe environment—if the words or phrases pan out the way you expected. You may even be able to teach what you've learned to someone new! And teaching is a wonderful way to reinforce learning for yourself.

If you don't have a local fair (or farmer's market) where you can play with everyday language, try your local mall for a similar atmosphere. Interactions with cashiers and salespeople are great moments to try your confidence, no matter what speaking form you want to build.

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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