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Group discussion skills

14.05.2013
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How to Pass HKDSE English with Flying Colours Paper 4表達技巧指導第3輯。(文中的expressions都給DSE考生,AL和CE考生可以參考。) (這是上卷,另有中卷和下卷。)

l   Formulaic expressions are useful, but never overuse them or use them regardless of the context. Use formulaic expressions only when the situation warrants their use. (套語有用,應用得用,但不應濫用)

l   Always ask meaningful questions or provide natural or appropriate responses.  

Skill 1.          Greet group members; start the discussion; make your point; invite others to join (四步曲:打招呼,說明話題,發表論點,邀請加入)

1.      Nice to meet everyone here for our discussion. The topic we are going to discuss today is… For me… Do you agree? What would be your opinion?

2.      Good afternoon / Good evening, everyone. We are here to discuss a topic on [body art and individuality]. We have to complete the discussion in 8 minutes. Let’s begin the discussion/Let’s get started. In my opinion… Does any one of you have any similar or other examples / ideas / points / comments?

3.      Well, friends, I believe you are already aware of the topic of today’s discussion. We are here to exchange our views on an article titled [A question of privacy]. Shall we start? Let’s start with the point [whether the media have too much freedom] (If the first point to talk about in the paper is [whether the media have too much freedom]). 

4.      Hello, everybody, mind / do you mind if I begin?  Today we are talking about… I suggest that… [Mr. Wong], do you think it is feasible / can work? I’d be happy to hear your opinion.

5.      Let’s start our discussion on [picnic arrangement] if everyone is ready. This discussion topic is not new to any one of us here.Our task is to discuss [which destination would be ideal for our picnic]. My own view is that… Do you think so?

Skill 2.          How to respond when a member starts the discussion by saying ‘Shall we start’? (別人開了頭,自己要作回應,不要沉默)

6.      Sure, we have 8 minutes. Go ahead.

Skill 3.          Initiate the discussion with a question (用提問法開始討論)

7.      Hello, everybody. We are here to discuss the topic of privacy. [Do the media have too much freedom?]  What are your opinions? (Turn your head to scan through your three partners after you ask the question. If nobody responds, immediately give your viewpoints by saying, ‘As I see it, …)

Skill 4.          What should I do if I don’t understand the topic at all? (不明白時,以靜制動)

8.      Don’t try to initiate the discussion. Be a good listener first. Get the idea of others and then give good response.

9.      Well, I’m not sure.  I’ll have to think it over. (若有人要你發言,你根本不明白當時他們在說甚麽,可以用這句)

10.  May I think about it for a moment? (若有人要你發言,你根本不明白當時他們在說甚麽,可以用這句)

Skill 5.          How to participate if I don’t know the topic or what other members are talking about? (不懂議題,不懂其他人談甚麽,如何參加)

11.  You may rephrase a point of your partners (用別人的論點,用自己的話說). For example, if a member proposes to regulate tongue piercing (規管穿舌環) to protect teenagers, you may say, ‘Yes, regulating tongue piercing is a good idea. We should protect teenagers.’

Skill 6.          Give Suggestions (提意見)

12.  I think / I believe / I suppose / I reckon (估計;猜想)… / I figure (估計;認為) [it’ll be successful].

13.  I’ll be brief. (我簡單地談一談)

14.  As I see it, …/ As for me15.  I suppose…

16.  Personally, …

17.  To me…

18.  So far as I can judge, [it is impractical, because]… /My judgment is that [it is impractical]…

19.  How about (if we)…?

20.  How about this idea: [we have our summer vacation on Lantau Island instead]?

21.  Wouldn’t it be a good idea if…?

22.  Wouldn’t it be sensible for us to…?

23.  The way I see it, we should…

24.  I’d like to put forward a suggestion: [Let’s conduct an opinion survey on…]

25.  What I want to say is that…

26.  A point I want to make is that…

27.  One idea would be…

Skill 7.          Invite members to speak (邀請人說話)

28.  What do you think…

29.  How does that sound to you?

30.  Do you have any suggestion?

31.  What you would recommend, [Mr. Chan]?

32.  What’s on your mind?

33.  Do you think we ought to … [Mr. Chan]?

34.  What would you do if you were me, [Miss. Chan]?

35.  Would you mind sharing with / giving us your opinion?

36.  Does it make sense to you?

37.  Would we try to [be strong/learn from the case/reason with them], [Mr Chan]?

38.  What else can you suggest, [Mr. Chan]?

39.  What do you think about my / this suggestion?

40.  Miss Chan, is it alright/do you think it’ll work?

41.  Mr. Chan, we would you do in this position?

42.  What about you, [Miss Chan]?  Do you have any other points?

43.  What about you, [Mr. Chan]?  Have you got any suggestions?

Skill 8.          Emphasize your point (強調觀點)

44.  Absolutely, …

45.  I’m certain that…

46.  I feel strongly that…

47.  I’m really very enthusiastic about that!

48.  Great! / Terrific! / How wonderful! / How marvelous (不可思議的)! / It’s breathtaking (激動人心的). / What a good idea!

49.  Well, I’m surprised that no one has thought about that.Skill 9 What to say when nobody follows up after you/another member speak (你或別人發言後無人跟進,如何打破冷場)

50.  Would any of you say a few words on…? (邀請其他人發言)

51.  I would like to add something here. (自己再發言,再邀請其他人發言)

52.  I would like to give some explanations here. (自己再發言,再邀請其他人發言)

Skill 9.          How to express agreement and why (表示同意,解釋理由)  

53.  I agree with you, but… (partial agreement, i.e. agree on one point but disagree on another)

54.  That makes sense; however… (partial agreement)

55.  It’s a good idea / point, but… (partial agreement)

56.  I suppose so. (partial agreement)

57.  Certainly it’s true that…, but on the other hand…(partial agreement)

58.  I can see that… But surely…(partial agreement)

59.  I am in total agreement with you about… but we also have to consider…. (partial agreement)

60.  Agreed, but if we accept… then it must also be true that…(partial agreement)

61.  In that case, … (carry a member’s point further, and then agree or disagree)

62.  ‘People like to read magazines for gossip only.’ ‘I suppose so.

63.  If you reply to a negative statement, you say, ‘I suppose not.’例如: ‘People like to read magazines for gossip only.’ ‘I suppose not.’

64.  Yes, and in fact… (corroboration, i.e. agree and add a further point)

65.  Yes, and what is more…

66.  I agree, and in fact one might go so far as to say…

67.  Absolutely. Actually, I would go further, and say…

68.  That’s a sensible / constructive ideas / point / suggestion, because… 

69.  That sounds great, as…

70.  Sounds good.

71.  That makes sense since…

72.  Very sensible of you, since…

73.  Fine, let’s do that.

74.  I agree with…

75.  I think… is a good idea / point

76.  I think you’re right.

77.  I completely agree.

78.  You’re totally correct/right.

79.  Exactly.

80.  You know, that’s exactly what I think.

81.  That’s just what I’m thinking.

82.  That’s exactly what I mean / what is in my mind.

83.  I’d go along with your idea / suggestion.

84.  That’s a good point. Your suggestion is very innovative and creative.

Skill 10.      How to express disagreement and why (表示不同意,並解釋理由)

85.  Important: Calmly express your opinion and respect the other member’s opinion all the while. Use expressions which soften the contradictory opinion you are giving (先揚後抑;先禮後兵), and give a reason why you disagree. (講道理)

86.  Yes, but… (‘English is difficult.’ ‘Yesbut it’s not so difficult as German.’)

87.  I take / see your point, but…

88.  I am afraid I can’t agree because…

89.  I’m afraid not. There is a point which I should mention.

90.  The problem with that is…

91.  The way I see it is…

92.  I’m against it because…

93.  Instead, I think that…

94.  Actually, I find that…

95.  I’m not sure I quite agree, because…

96.  Yes, perhaps, but I think…

97.  Well, yours is not a bad idea, but I am sorry I can’t agree with you that…

98.  I agree in part / to some extent but…

99.  Well, that might work but…

100.  Okay, I see your point. But surely you’ll admit that…

101.  I see what you mean, but many people may not, because….

102.  I see what you mean but I have to say ‘no’ to that because….but I don’t think

103.  I see your point but I have another idea.

104.  That’s not a very good idea.

105.  I think we should… (indirect disagreement)

106.  Perhaps we could consider an alternative solution. (indirect disagreement)

107.  We could… (indirect disagreement)

108.  How about…(indirect disagreement)

109.  What about…(indirect disagreement)

110.  Is that really necessary? (indirect disagreement)

111.  One solution may be…(indirect disagreement)

112.  It’s not an entirely correct thing to do actually.

113.  Personally, I feel that might be a bit unnecessary. 

Skill 11.      Respond to challenge (回應質疑)

114.  You may ask for details by saying: (i) Why do you say that, [Mr. Wong]?  (ii) Could you be more specific?  (iii) What’s there about [going on picnic on a holiday] that you don’t like?

115.  You may ask for confirmation by saying: ‘Are you saying that I have left out an important point, which is…?’  

116.  You may insist by saying: ‘It’s not a bad idea having regard to all circumstances. Why don’t we give it a try?’ 

117.  J Occasionally, you will find that what you thought to be criticism really isn’t!

Skill 12.      Circumvent (避而不答)

118.  Thank you for your question. In general, I see your point. In addition, I believe that… How about you?

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