The second part discussed opinions verbally. At the beginning of the session participants practice to make a comparison. To make a comparison we should know the conversation context, whether it is formal or not. In the formal conversation we can say “I prefer Italian food to Chinese”. Otherwise, we can say “I like Italian food better than Chinese”, in the informal context. In the practice session, we learned to show our opinions to compare online study methods vs offline study methods. Anisa Dwi Utami Marpaung (grantee Padang State University) shared her comparison between those two types of study method: “I like studying from home better than studying in the classroom, because studying from home is more flexible”. In reverse, Riskah (grantee Cokroaminoto University of Palopo) shared her comparison as follows: “I like studying offline better than studying online, because all students can access the same materials without any problems”. Both of them use informal sentences to compare two types of study methods.
Next, we learned to express our opinions. To show our personal opinions we can use “I think”; “In my opinion”; “As far as I’m concerned”; or “As far as I know”. For example when we discuss movies, we can say “I think superman is the best hero” to show our personal opinion. To emphasize the general point of view, we can say “Some people say that…”, or “It is considered”. Sometimes we agree with any specific opinion, but sometimes we disagree with it. To agree with an opinion we can say: “Of course”; “I think so”; “I agree with that”; or “I couldn’t agree more”. On the other hand, to express our disagreement with an opinion we can say: “I don’t agree”; “However ….”; or “On the contrary…”. To share our opinions we can say what we think in a detailed and straightforward manner. Provide the reasons for our point of view, give at least one example to back up each of our reasons and restate our opinion to conclude.
Furthermore, to construct our opinion we can use the AREL formula in our sentences. AREL formula consists of: Assertion, Reason, Evidence and Link Back. Assertion is the main point of argument or a “tagline” or a statement of what we intend to prove. A reason is a true claim, that should be answering the “why” of assertion. A reason followed by evidence or data that can take from many forms, for example: statistics, expert testimony, newspapers or scientific writing. At the end of the sentences, we use link back as a conclusion of the entire argument to conclude our opinions. At the end of the session, participants were given the opportunity to make a comparison between living in a big city vs living in a small town using the AREL formula.