How to Increase English Casual Conversation Skills

This phone app using a personalized avatar helps build vocabulary and increase your command of common slang.   

This post was written by Cecilia.

I always caution my students whose goal is natural communication not to be too dependent upon grammar studies, recommending they instead focus on building vocabulary and mastering slang. Imho, unless you’re going to be attending university or taking a high-ranking job, your best strategy for building confident communication is to practice how people really speak, not how they’re supposed to speak.  

One great tool I recommend for learning slang and other common casual phrases is a phone app called Bitmoji

With Bitmoji, you build an avatar of yourself from the ground up – three different cartoon styles, body shape, skin tone, extensive customization of the face and hair, aging, and clothing – which is then thrown into dozens (if not hundreds) of situations called “stickers”. Most stickers have common phrases or current slang sayings that are really helpful for casual conversation with peers. 

Bitmoji integrates with SMS and WhatsApp texting apps (plus other apps like Snapchat) to allow your stickers to be sent in conversations or shown on your social media. It has a nice search function, so you can locate the exact sticker situation to fit your need. You can also save the sticker to your phone or your computer as a photo for use in un-integrated apps. 

Let’s take a look at just a few Bitmoji stickers you can use to improve your casual conversation skills.  

By using this sticker, I am saying that I am a “bad ass”, which means that I am tough, cool, righteous, individualistic. Some famous bad asses are Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, and Beatrix Kiddo from the Kill Bill movies. 
This sticker combines a commonly used phrase which means “I gave you only one task and you failed”, with the Estadounidense love of trophies (don’t get me started on baseball trophies!) for a job well done. This is classic EE.UU. ironic humor.  
“Get it together” is a phrase one uses to counsel others that they are making bad decisions or they are acting without thinking. You are concerned, and feel the need to speak seriously.   
“It be like that sometimes” is a grammatically incorrect slang saying, meaning life is not fair, bad things happen, we just have to deal with it. (The grammatically correct way to say it would be “It is like that sometimes.”) 
Because Estadounidenses are so often sarcastic as a means of making a joke, we’ve had to invent a language structure to signal to the listener that in this situation we are not joking. We do this by repeating a word and vocally stressing the first instance of the word in speaking. As explanation, the first use of the word is the serious usage and the second is the instance that we fear may be taken as a joke. In this case the avatar is saying “I like you – really, I like you. Do you feel the same? Are you interested in having a relationship with me?” 

Are you ready to work on your slang skills?

Cecilia is a Badass

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