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Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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4.1 Types of discussion

Some discussions arise naturally. For instance, you may be with a group of people discussing last night’s football match or a scandal involving a celebrity. These sorts of discussions are for sharing views, but no conclusion is necessary. They help people to get to know each other better.

Other discussions are more formal. These would include discussions at meetings such as:

  • staff or team meetings at work
  • your local residents’ meetings
  • neighbourhood crime prevention meetings
  • committee meetings of a society you belong to
  • AGMs (Annual General Meetings)
  • parent–teacher meetings
  • school governor meetings.

In meetings, items are presented for discussion. The chairperson may ask you to state your point of view.

The purpose of these discussions vary and may be:

  • to reach a decision such as when and where to have a staff party
  • to feedback ideas to people with more authority
  • to get reactions to a proposal.

Some discussions are arranged especially for interest or entertainment. They may be arranged so that people who feel strongly about something have the opportunity to share their views. Examples of these would be discussion programmes on the television or radio.

When you are involved in a discussion, it helps to know what the purpose is. It also helps if everybody involved knows what the purpose is. This helps the discussion to stay on target.

In a formal discussion, if other issues are raised, it’s best to agree to discuss them later.