Should we practise the art of conversation more?

When talking with friends yesterday, it struck me that we undervalue conversation considerably. When teaching English I first encourage students to talk through what they are going to write. They seem to believe that just talking is easy, – not ‘real’ work. Yet, while I am trying to learn another language (Spanish) it is through conversation that I believe I learn the most. In trying to construct a sentence, in trying to clothe an idea with words that express the exact meaning intended and in having to absorb what others are saying and adapt my comments to theirs, the language part of the mind, I am sure, is being exercised considerably.


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