Languages › English as a Second Language Learn English With These Basic Conversation Exercises Share Flipboard Email Print Basic Conversations for English Language Learners Asking and Answering Questions How to Ask and Answer Simple Questions How to Ask Polite Questions How to Ask for Permission Giving and Requesting Personal Information Check Your Knowledge: Basic English Questions Greetings and Introductions Formal and Informal Greetings How to Introduce Yourself and Others Check Your Knowledge: Introductions and Greetings Numbers and Time Talking About Numbers How to Tell Time Using "How Much" and "How Many" Check Your Knowledge: "How Much" and "How Many" Telephone Conversations Important Phrases for Phone Calls Making Telephone Calls Eating Out and Shopping Eating at a Restaurant Going to a Bar Going Shopping Check Your Knowledge: Eating at a Restaurant Traveling At the Airport Asking for and Giving Directions Staying at a Hotel or Motel Check Your Knowledge: Taking a Trip Going to the Doctor Making a Doctor's Appointment Talking About Joint Pain Check Your Knowledge: Going to the Doctor By Kenneth Beare English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. our editorial process Kenneth Beare Updated August 21, 2019 If you're just starting to learn English, there's no better way to improve your speaking skills than with basic conversation exercises. These simple role-playing games will help you learn how to introduce yourself, how to ask for directions, and more. With practice, you'll be able to understand others and begin to enjoy conversations in your new language. Below are links to some essential exercises that will help you have basic English conversations. Getting Started All you need to begin are the basic conversation guides you'll find below and a friend or classmate to practice with. Be patient with yourselves; English is not an easy language to learn, but you can do it. Begin with the first conversation in this list, then move on to the next when you feel comfortable doing so. You can also use the key vocabulary provided at the end of each exercise to write and practice your own conversations. Asking and Answering Questions Learn how to ask and answer simple questions in English with these articles. Key skills covered include basic questions, polite questions, asking permission, and providing personal information such as your name, address, and phone number. Introductions Learning how to introduce yourself and greet people both formally and informally are essential skills in any language, whether it's your own or a new one you're studying. In these lessons, you learn how to say hello and goodbye, as well as vocabulary that you can use when meeting new people and making friends. Telling the Time and Using Numbers Even if you're just visiting an English-speaking country for a few days, knowing how to tell the time is important. This role-playing exercise teaches you the right phrases to ask a stranger what time it is. You'll also learn how to thank the person who helped you, plus key conversation words. And if you're going to tell time, you'll also need to know how to express numbers in English. This article will help you out with all kinds of numbers, including weights, distance, decimals, and more. Finally, when expressing quantities, English uses either much or many, depending on whether the noun is countable or non-countable. Speaking on the Phone Phone calls can be challenging for people who don't speak English well. Improve your telephone skills with this exercise and vocabulary quiz. Learn how to make travel arrangements and how to make purchases over the phone, plus other important words. Best of all, you'll use the conversation skills you learned in the other lessons here. Shopping for Clothing Everyone loves to go shopping for new clothes, especially if you're visiting a foreign country. In this exercise, you and your practice partner learn the basic vocabulary that you'll use in a shop. Although this particular game is set in a clothing store, you can use these skills in any kind of store. Eating at a Restaurant After you're finished shopping, you might want to eat at a restaurant or go to a bar for a drink. In these dialogues, you learn how to order from a menu and how to ask questions about the food, whether you're by yourself or out with friends. You'll also find a quiz to help you improve your restaurant vocabulary. Traveling at the Airport Security at most major airports is very tight, so you should expect to speak English with many different people when you're traveling. By practicing this exercise, you'll learn how to have basic conversations when you check-in as well as when you go through security and customs. Asking for Directions It's easy for anyone to lose their way when traveling, especially if you don't speak the language. Learn how to ask simple directions and how to understand what people tell you. This exercise gives you basic vocabulary plus tips for finding your way. Finally, you'll want to know how to ask for a room at a hotel or motel once you've arrived at your destination. Going to the Doctor Nothing is worse than not feeling well and not knowing how to communicate with a doctor. These tips, vocabulary lists, and sample dialogues can help you practice making an appointment. Tips for English Teachers These basic English conversations can also be used in a classroom setting. Here are a few suggestions for using conversation lessons and role-playing activities: Ask students about their experiences in the situation featured in the dialogue. Solicit important phrases, grammar structures, and so on from the students and write them on the board.Introduce new vocabulary and key phrases to students.Pass out printed dialogue to students.Have each student take on a role and practice the dialogues in pairs. Students should take on both roles.Based on the dialogue, ask students to write out their own related conversations using key vocabulary.Have students practice their own dialogues to the point where they can perform short conversations in front of the class.