Don’t like it? Send it back!

I was in a restaurant with a friend who ordered a beer and then didn’t drink much of it. I gestured at it and said, “So, you’re really not a big drinker.”

She said, “It just doesn’t taste right to me.”

I said, “Then send it back. Get what you want.”

She demurred, “No, that’s okay. I’ll just […]

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Why do Americans talk so much about nothing?

Many people don’t understand why Americans like to talk about unimportant things. We’ll talk to complete strangers about nothing of consequence such as the weather or how long they’ve been standing in line. Why?

While many cultures engage in friendly conversation, the reason Americans do it is a little different. For the most part, Americans tend to […]

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The Art of Small Talk

One of the main ways Americans connect with each other is through small talk. We make small talk with friends, co-workers and complete strangers. Small talk uses inconsequential conversation to build rapport with someone. The subject of small talk might be the weather or plans for the upcoming weekend or a television show. It doesn’t […]

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How to apologize properly

Being able to say “I’m sorry” is a critical skill in American business and personal life, but many people don’t know how to do it. Whether you’re an immigrant to the U.S. or were raised in American culture, make sure you’re not making a false apology.

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Parties & social time

Welcome Dialogue hosts regular events where you can relax and have fun making new friends. With Welcome Dialogue, you don’t just learn communication and social skills. You get a safe, welcoming place to practice them.

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How to talk to Americans

Learn the art of small talk and how to connect quickly with people you’ve just met.

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Painful to be an American

Those of us who live in the United States pride ourselves on being a nation of equality and freedom, but on days like today we can’t deny the ugliness that we actually live with. Police officers killed a Black man named Alton Sterling on Tuesday morning in Louisiana, police in Minnesota killed a Black man named […]

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Conversation group for English practice

Do you want to improve your American English with a friendly conversation group? Do you want to learn skills critical to life in the U.S. such as how to make small talk, how to network and how to make friends with Americans? If you live in the Chicagoland area, join the American Skills for Internationals […]

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Chatting with Americans

Americans are often quite friendly with strangers and many of us particularly enjoy striking up conversations with people from other countries. We call casual conversation chatting. But if you are just getting to know someone that you’re hoping will be a friend, be aware of what topics of conversation are good. If you would like to […]

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Why did I start Welcome Dialogue?

immigration and assimilation services

The experiences that led me to start Welcome Dialogue include my move to Chicago, Illinois when I was a young woman with no friends or family in the state. Having left college and graduate school behind, I could no longer make friends in the college dorm or the on-campus cafeteria. I was an adult and […]

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