miércoles, 1 de julio de 2015

Talking point: Mind your language

In this week's talking point we are going to talk about language. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
  • In what situations do you use a different language? Give examples.
  • In what situations do you prefer to communicate electronically?
  • When do you prefer face-to-face communication?
  • How do you usually greet the following: friends; family; work colleagues; people you meet for the first time?
  • How do people communicate with their pets?
  • Which non-verbal gestures are commonly used in your country?
  • How has your language changed over the years? Why?
To illustrate the point you can watch the New York Times video Italian hand gestures, a short story.

    Why do Italians talk with their hands? For many, it’s something in their blood. Some scholars argue that gestures have been in Italy for centuries. They came with the ancient Greeks that once colonized southern Italy. These gestures survived. They’ve been passed down through generations for centuries, even more than language.
    Be careful.
    Professor Poggi has identified around 250 hand gestures that Italians use in everyday conversation. It’s a language of its own with its own complex vocabulary.