This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material.
After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.
[P1] A couple of years ago I was sitting on a plane in a middle seat among a group of guys traveling to Alaska on a big fishing trip. As part of making airplane small talk, one of them asked what I do for fun.
[P2] I had nothing. I thought about it for a couple seconds. At that point I was in school full-time, earning my second bachelor’s degree, and working. My garden was overgrown with weeds. My house was a mess. Fun?
[P3] “Uh, I run,” was what I came up with. This was a stretch considering my running is actually jogging, and technically I walk half the time. And while I’m doing it, “fun” isn’t what it feels like.
[P4] I resolved to make some changes so next time I had a real and good answer. I’m not alone.
[P5] Author and behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards penned a fantastic piece giving tips on how to be more interesting because people were landing on her website by searching the internet for the phrase “how to be interesting.”
[P6] In it, she has a stick figure cartoon exactly depicting my guy-on-the-plane scenario. Oh, geez.
If you want to be interesting, try harder.
[P7] Van Edwards’s advice is simple yet challenging. In essence, she says boring people are lazy people. They habitually watch TV after work and hang out on Facebook for hours a day. They suck at conversation because they talk about the weather and don’t ask good questions. And they consume food, drink, media, and information from default or processed sources. How can you be living differently from the lowest common denominator?
Your tribe defines your vibe.
[P8] Who is the most interesting person you know? Funniest? Most well-read? Most well-traveled? Strangest? These are the people you want to hang out with, Van Edwards says.
Fan the flames of your curiosity.
[P9] It will help you learn what’s interesting about the people around you and connect with them. It’s magnetic because people are drawn to those who want to hear their stories. Think about the last time someone took an interest in your dreams and desires. How did it make you feel?
Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.
|resolve||(v) to make a definite and serious decision to do something
e.g. She resolved to quit smoking.
|pen||(v) to write (something)
e.g. She penned a novel.
|common denominator||(n) a feature shared by all members of a group.
e.g. the common denominator for the fevers was the bite of a tick
|magnetic||(adj) having great power to attract and hold the interest of other people
e.g. a magnetic personality
|be drawn to||(v) to cause (someone) to become involved or interested in something or someone — + in, into, or to
e.g. She got drawn into the conversation.
Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.
- Summarize the article in your own words.
- Describe the most interesting person you’ve met in your life.
- What are three most interesting things about you?
- What are three things that you found interesting about your tutor? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!