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How to have a discussion.

Here are some strategies for participating in a discussion with your classmates.
Back view of a male student typing on his laptop in an online discussion.
© NMIT

In this course you should try to discuss the ideas with your classmates. In this way, you will have a chance to practise new vocabulary and strengthen what you already know.

Here are some strategies. Read through them. Which ones are new for you?

Asking for an opinion:

Hi Amy, So, what did you think about …..?

Hi Ali, What are your thoughts on ….?

Hi Clare, How do you feel about ….?

Agreeing

Ok sure. I can see that.

You make a good point.

Disagreeing

I see what you are saying, but ….

I don’t think education is just for learning some facts. I think it is also about learning social skills.

I’m afraid I disagree.

Expressing an opinion

In my opinion…

My point of view is that…

Asking for clarification or confirmation

Can you give me some examples of what you mean by……..?

What do you mean?

Do you mean…..?

Could you clarify that…..?

Offering a fact or example

I’ve noticed that……

In my experience…..

Paraphrasing

What they mean is that ….

In other words….

His/Her point is ……

The author argues/states/suggests that…

Referring to a source

I read this article in The Times. It mentioned that….

I saw this documentary on Youtube. It was about……

According to a newspaper I read…..

Interrupting

Actually, I think………

Excuse me, but I think………..

Sorry for interrupting, but ……….

Checking understanding

Do you understand?

Do you know what I mean?

© NMIT
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EAL: English Language for Nature Conservation and Sustainability

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