Conversation Tip #5: Search for common interests

Finding commonalities sparks conversations

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

-Albert Camus (1913-1960), French novelist and Nobel Prize winner

We can learn a great deal from our conversations, even about our own interests and hobbies! Finding a commonality generates fantastic interaction because both sides possess enthusiasm over the subject. Potential topics could stem from several categories, such as literature, sports, movies or pastimes.

What’s a good way to find out what you have in common with someone else? Ask questions! Encourage your students to inquire about favorites, dislikes and other types of opinions with each other. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out what they share with others!

What have your students shared about themselves? What do they share in common with each other?

Ask More. Know More. Share More.
Create Compelling Conversations.

Jessica Lu, a first-year student at the University of Chicago, interned for Chimayo Press and the Compelling Conversations blog through the summer of 2014. Over the months, she has perused ESL textbooks, analyzed newspaper articles and tested out mobile apps, seeking out ways to inspire discussion. During the fall, the Compelling Conversations blog published her top 10 tips to create compelling conversations outside of the English classroom.

Photo Source: “Elliott Bay Books – author reading 01A” by Joe Mabel – Photo by Joe Mabel. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

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