In most English-speaking countries, it is normal and necessary to make "small talk" in certain situations. Small talk is a casual form of conversation that "breaks the ice" or fills an awkward silence between people. Even though you may feel shy using your second language, it is sometimes considered rude to say nothing. Just as there are certain times when small talk is appropriate, there are also certain topics that people often discuss during these moments.
Read through the Who, What, Where, When, Why? page to gain a better understanding of small talk. The hardest part about making small talk is knowing how to start a conversation. Review the conversation starters and practise them with a friend. Finally, take the time to see how much you have learned about small talk by taking the Small Talk Quiz. And remember, in an English-speaking environment it is often better to make a few mistakes than to say nothing at all!