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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I have a Canadian boyfriend, but.... 

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“Dear Ai, I have been in Canada since February 2005. I have a Canadian boyfriend. I am very happy to be with him, but it is very difficult to socialize with his friends. None of his friends are ESL students. When I come to school, I have no problem of talking with my classmates because they all make mistakes. My boyfriend wants me to be more talkative and friendly to his friends. What should I do?” -Sue from Korea

“Hi, Sue. Thank you very much for asking this question!! I had the exact same problem! It is very hard to start a conversation with a stranger. You may also worry about your accent and incomplete sentences… since English is not your first language. Your boyfriend’s friends would like to know you. If you are not good at talking about current events or news, read the newspaper. Talking about Korean culture, food and travel tips would be the best topics for you! Try to listen more than talking. People feel good about themselves when there is an audience. You can be the great listener. Also, smiling is very important to make people comfortable. I came across an incredible book for you to read. It’s called “How to be a People Magnet” written by Leil Lowndes. There are great tips you can try when you meet a group of strangers. It is a good sign for your relationship that your boyfriend wants you to meet his friends. He is proud of you, so enjoy socializing and make new friends!”

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