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Last updated at 12:31 GMT, Tuesday, 18 January 2011



Wang Fei is worried his hot date might turn out to be an icy situation! Luckily, Rob has some handy advice.

An ice sculptor

The script from this programme:

Wang Fei: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I'm Wang Fei.

Rob: And I'm Rob Carter.

Wang Fei: Rob, I'm going on a hot date tomorrow and I'm feeling a bit nervous now. I think I need your help.

Rob: Hmm. It is a scary thing to do. What you need is some kind of icebreaker.

Wang Fei: An icebreaker? That sounds quite cold!

Rob: Don't worry, it's not. But an icebreaker has got something to do with warming up a cold situation. It will make things more relaxed.

Wang Fei:
An icebreaker is something you can do or some words you can say to make people feel relaxed. So an icebreaker will make things less formal?

Rob: Yes, that's right. Doing something or saying something at the start will hopefully make your date more relaxed and less tense.

Wang Fei:
I see. An icebreaker will make people feel more relaxed. Maybe I should sing a song or do a dance?!

Rob: Now that's a bit over the top – why not start with a joke?

Wang Fei: If singing or dancing is a bit over the top, or too much, I will think of a joke then.

  • Telling a joke is an excellent icebreaker.
  • That party needed an icebreaker to make it less formal!

Wang Fei: So just now we heard people using icebreaker in their conversation. Rob, does icebreaker literally mean breaking the ice?

Rob: It does. You can do it when you start a new job. Everything feels so formal that it's good to break the ice. We British can be a bit reserved or formal so it's good if someone can break the ice.

Wang Fei: Yes, I agree. Sometimes British people can be quite reserved and formal. Rob I'm not good at jokes. Do you have any I can use?

Rob: Let's have a think. How about telling this one? "With my last girlfriend it was love at first sight – then I took a second look!"

Wang Fei: It's a good joke. But honestly, did it work for you?

Um... It didn't actually. But it might be good for you!

Wang Fei: Hmm… Actually I think I would rather find a good story on our website as an icebreaker.

Rob: Yes. Don't forget our website is a good place to learn some English phrases that might help you break the ice at a party.

Wang Fei:
And our website is…

Rob: Bye bye.

Wang Fei: Bye!


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