"In my own teaching, I have found questions and quotations to be highly effective in promoting student discussion. Questions are useful in that they require a response from the listener. Asking them also helps students master the tricky rules of the interrogative. Quotations are brilliant flashes of wit expressed in the shortest space possible, often just a sentence or two. The authors have compiled a formidable collection of quotations by famous people from Napoleon and Aristotle to Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone. Some will have the students roaring with laughter "My movies were the kind they show in prisons and airplanes because nobody can leave." - Burt Reynolds), while others require careful introspection ("Love is not just looking at each other; it's looking in the same direction." - Antoine de Saint Exupery). The authors also add some wise proverbs here and there. My two favourites were "Recite `patience' three times and it will spare you a murder" and "When money talks, truth keeps silent", which are from Korea and Russia. In sum, Compelling Conversations is a recommended resource for teachers who want to make their conversation classes more learner-centered. It should be especially appealing to those who wish to escape the confines of the Presentation-Practice-Production approach and do without a formal grammatical or functional syllabus. It reflects the authors' considerable professional experience, and would be a notable addition to any English teacher's bookshelf." -- Hall Houston, English Teaching Professional, January 2009
"This outstanding resource (Compelling Conversations) allows teachers to confidently walk into an advanced ESL classroom with self-contained, engaging conversation lessons. The 45 thematic chapters allow you to both evoke student experience with long lists of practical and savvy questions. The inclusion of global proverbs and classic quotations also provides larger cultural contexts to inspire deeper conversations - or writing assignments. Students should also appreciate the generous amount of authentic language. I wish I would have had that book in my old adult/university classes. A great book for adult education teachers, university instructors, and private tutors!" -- Eric Busch, director/founder, ESLHQ.com, August 2007
"Have you been looking for a good ESL manual? If you have, I think this is one (Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics) to consider. The topics cover: Your Life, The Civic Life, along with the everyday aspects as dating, enjoying money, handling stress. The editors put it together in an easy to use form. You have conversation starters such as, "How much time do you spend each week in cars? Why?" There is a section in each chapter for vocabulary building. A section on common sayings is included, as well. To increase the conversation we have such questions as this: "Do you prefer to drive in the city or the country? Flat or hills?" Each chapter in the book concludes with quotations. An example is this one by Woody Allen, "I have bad reflexes. I was once run over by a car being pushed by two guys." This manual helps conversation by giving common subjects to talk about. Since English is one of the confusing, difficult and strange languages for a foreigner to grasp and be comfortable conversing in, the compilers pack in 45 chapters over 30 questions, 10 or more targeted vocabulary words, some proverbs, and quotations per chapter. Each chapter focuses on a promising conversation topic. They start with easy questions and continue on to questions a bit more abstract. Each question is there to allow the speaker to share his life experiences along with his insights. This manual will go best with the advanced ESL student or even at coffee shop conversation clubs. It will bring about authentic, not stilted communication, which should be the purpose of an ESL course. It is easier for a person to learn a language through conversation rather than by a given list of vocabulary words. That is what makes this a welcome addition to the material which can be used for the immigrant who must learn English to advance in the world." -- Dane Robert Swanson, Santa Monica Daily Press, 1/16/2009
From the Back Cover
is perfect for conversation clubs, private tutors, and conversation courses! Compelling Conversations'
topics are timely, meaningful, and presented in such a way as to stimulate immediate class participation. Marc Yablonka, Author & ESL Teacher, LAUSD Adult Education
The students I tutor are well-educated adults, rich in culture and experiences. This book allows them to produce natural conversations using what is most intimate to them: their lives and their culture. Patricia Schulz, ESL Tutor