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Book details
  • SubGenre:English as a Second Language
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Compelling Conversations
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:152
  • eBook ISBN:9780982617854

Compelling Conversations

Questions & Quotations on Timeless Topics

by Eric H. Roth and Toni Aberson

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This innovative English as a second language textbook helps advanced English language learners develop conversation skills and improve fluency by sharing experiences, reflecting on their lives, and discussing proverbs and quotations. The ESL book includes 45 thematic chapters, over 1400 questions, 500 vocabulary words, 250 proverbs and American idioms, and 500 quotations. Designed for both adult education and intensive English language students, the conversations deepen critical thinking skills and speaking skills essential to success in community college and university programs. Compelling Conversations has been used in classrooms in over 50 countries, recommended by English Teaching Professional magazine, and enjoyed by thousands of English students.


Quality Conversations Matter The art of conversation, once considered the sign of a civilized individual, seems less common today. Yet we count the pleasures of sharing experiences, collecting news, and exchanging ideas one of the pleasures of life. These natural conversations provide information, encouragement, and pleasure. Many people say that they are too busy to have long talks. Other people prefer to watch television, play computer games, or listen to the radio rather than talk to relatives and friends. Sometimes people feel too shy to speak to the people next to them. Many Americans, it seems to us, have forgotten how to hold good, deep conversations, or even a friendly chat with neighbors. we suspect this lack of real communication lessens their joy. Barriers to Conversation in English Classrooms Of course, people learning English as a second, third, or fourth language face even more barriers. English remains a strange, confusing, difficult, and misspelled language - and it's easy to feel uncomfortable when speaking in this new tongue. • What questions can I ask? • How do keep a conversation going? • What is the word for ……? What vocabulary words do I need? • How do show my agreement, or disagreement, in a lively, yet polite way? • How can I share my experiences with a limited vocabulary? • Will I be understood? • How else can I ask a question? • How can I reduce the possibility of being misunderstood? • How can I have better and more engaging conversations in English? • Where can I practice my speaking skills in a safe, tolerant atmosphere? Creating Meaningful Classroom Dialogue Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics addresses these issues for both native and non-native English speakers. The focus is on learning by doing, and making good mistakes. (Good mistakes are mistakes that are natural, and we can learn from so we can make different and better "good mistakes" next time.) Each chapter includes 30 or more questions, 10 or more focused vocabulary words, a few proverbs, and 10 or more quotations. Although designed for advanced students (and English teachers!), intermediate ESL students will find plenty of material to use and can benefit from exposure to the new words, phrases, and questions. 45 Timeless Topics to Spark Conversations Each of the 45 chapters focuses on a common conversation topic. The questions allow the reader to practice exchanging experiences and ideas in a natural style. You can add questions, skip questions, and move on to related topics. Each chapter begins with easier questions and moves on to questions that are more abstract. This scaffolding makes the conversation exercises suitable for a wider range of English language learners. Natural Conversations Evolve Real conversations naturally evolve. Both native and non-native English speakers will find the questions allow one to share experiences, exchange insights, and reflect on life. Therefore, the questions include conversation starters and many clarification questions. These are not artificial "look, see, do" scripts to rigidly follow. The goal remains to create dialogue, increase understanding of other people, and gently push you toward using a richer vocabulary in English conversation. This flexibility has also made Compelling Conversations popular with online tutors who teach English conversation over the internet. Practice Makes Progress Practice may not make perfection, speaking English every day – especially in meaning conversations - does lead to significant progress. Compelling Conversations gives you the tools and phrases to talk more and listen better to friends and strangers in English . So go ahead. Ask more. Know more. Share more. And create your own Compelling Conversations!

About the author

Eric H. Roth teaches international graduate students the pleasures and perils of academic writing and public speaking in English at the University of Southern California (USC). He also consults English language schools on communicative methods to effectively teach English. Since 1992, Roth has taught English to high school, community college, adult, and university students. Highlights of his career include: teaching the first Saturday morning citizenship class in Santa Monica (1994); directing the CES Adult Education Center (1995-1998); working with international students in summer IEP programs at UCLA Extension (1997-2000, 2003-2005); teaching USC engineering students in Madrid, Spain (2007) and Paris, France (2008); and directing the APU International High School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2009). Roth created the Compelling Conversations series to help English language learners increase their English fluency. Recommended by English Teaching Professional magazine, Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics, is in use in over 50 countries in English classrooms and conversation clubs. Easy English Times, an adult literacy newspaper, has published a monthly column, "Instant Conversation Activities," based on the book since 2008. The first specific version for a particular country, Vietnam, was published in 2011. A member of the USC faculty since 2003, Roth is a member of numerous professional organizations including: California Association of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL); the International Communication Association (ICA); the International Professors Project (IPP); and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Roth has given several CATESOL and TESOL conference presentations and led many teacher training workshops. Given a full scholarship as a Lilly Scholar, Roth studied philosophy and American history at Wabash College (1980-1984), and received his M.A. in Media Studies from the New School (1988). USC promoted Roth to the title of master lecturer in 2012. He looks forward to smiling more, sighing less, and traveling to another dozen countries this decade.