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How to Prepare Before Your General Topics Speaking Session:

To prepare for your General Topics Speaking session with your English1on1 tutor, you need to do a few things.   You will need a PDF file viewer to use some of the files on the English1on1 website.  If you can view this file here, you do not need to download a PDF file viewer.  If you cannot view the file, you need to download and install Adobe Reader.  This may take a few minutes, so you should check your computer at least an hour before you meet for your session. 

Next, you should download the files for the topic that you and your tutor will discuss.  Your tutor will notify you which topic you will practice before the session.  Log on to the English1on1 webpage, and click on the “Dialogues” link on the left side of the page.  Then search through the list of groups and topics to find the one you will discuss.  You should download all of the related files to your computer so that you can listen to them at your convenience.  For example, if you are going to practice the Company policies dialogue, you should download these files:


Not every dialogue has additional materials, but you should always download the dialogue MP3 and the transcript PDF.  The additional materials are optional, but they contain more information related to the topic.  It’s a good idea to review these so you will have more to say about the topic with your tutor.

Finally, a few minutes before each session, you should check to make sure your microphone and earphones and Skype program are all working properly.  You can check the volume and clarity of your equipment by signing on to Skype.  After your microphone and earphones are connected to the computer, make a test call to the “Skype Test Call.”  With the Skype window open, click on the menu item "Tools" then "Options" at the very bottom.  A new window will open up.  Click on "Audio Settings" on the left side of the screen.  Check your microphone and speaker settings by clicking on the link "Make a free test call."  Adjust your volume so that you can hear and follow the spoken directions to test your microphone.  When all of this is completed, you are ready for your General Topics session.


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