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

Icebreaker

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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?

Rob:
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:
www.bbclearningenglish.com. Bye bye.

Wang Fei: Bye!

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