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September 08, 2005



I often receive phone calls from someone I don't know. They are various kinds of salespeople from newspapers, donation groups, and insurance companies. Of course I'm not interested in most of their business, but they don't always annoy me because I can practice English conversation with them for free. As you know, conversation by telephone is one of the hardest things for us ESL people because we cannot use any body language and expressions, and incoming calls are especially difficult to deal with as we have no idea about the purpose of the call when we pick up the receiver. Today I received a call from a donation group. As soon as I lifted the receiver, he started speaking very quickly with my full name and some key words such as "police" and "government" which made me nervous. As he didn't seem to stop speaking, I said my special phrase, "Excuse me, I'm afraid I can't speak English very well. Would you tell me why you are calling?" Then he eventually said he was calling about a donation. I refused to donate and the five minute free telephone lesson finished.

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