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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!
These conversation starters are not just for ESL students but for anyone who is a bit shy or has trouble speaking around people. The questions are engaging and interesting and draws people into a variety of diverse subjects ranging from "Does your dog have a personality?" to "Have you ever had to hire/fire someone or work for a crazy boss?" The book also has may jokes,...
Published on April 17, 2007 by loopidiloop

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit boring
I use with a group who need to practice conversation. While there are many questions...it's a bit dry. I would plan to have additional material if you use this for a class.
Published 15 months ago by E. Rodgers


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!, April 17, 2007
By 
loopidiloop (carlsbad, california) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
These conversation starters are not just for ESL students but for anyone who is a bit shy or has trouble speaking around people. The questions are engaging and interesting and draws people into a variety of diverse subjects ranging from "Does your dog have a personality?" to "Have you ever had to hire/fire someone or work for a crazy boss?" The book also has may jokes, quotes and proverbs that often bring common day improper english into the mix. A must have book!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gold mine of resources, November 12, 2007
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
I first tried this fantastic textbook with a high intermediate student that I tutor. I was amazed from the start at how naturally the conversation flowed. We were only halfway through the first set of questions when she decided to buy her own copy. Each of the 45 chapters includes a vocabulary section and list of around 12 to 15 classic quotations, along with between thirty and forty questions. The chapters can be used in any order, but I recommend starting with chapter one as it orients the students to the textbook and shows them how to get the most out of subsequent chapters. Either in the classroom or one on one, it's accessible to intermediate students and challenges advanced students. The quotations, from Socrates to Shaw and from Picasso to Pete Rose, are all identified by name, when they lived, and what they did. This book is truly a treasure.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where was this book when I needed it?, May 18, 2007
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
As a longtime ESL student and medical professional, I wish I had this book when I was preparing for the "English Proficiency Exam" in London.

It goes beyond the boring dialogs of most ESL books and provides great current conversations that fit our crazy modern times.

For instances:

"Are sex, love and marriage linked in your mind?"

"What does your partner do that annoys you?"

"Will your partner love you with wrinkles?"

These are good questions!

I also like the proverbs:"If it's torn it can't be worn." (Persian)

Excellent book, great learning tool, absolutely at the top of the list in its category!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The recipe for making anyone a great conversationalist!, July 11, 2007
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
If I had to sum up what I loved about "Compelling Conversations" in one sentence, I would say that it contains the recipe for making anyone a great conversationalist!

In addition to 45 well-selected topics perfectly suited for casual or in-depth conversations, the authors provide excellent resources and guidelines that make a conversation run smoothly in an engaging, informative and thought provoking manner.

Each chapter consists of a list of questions - from specific to more abstract - , as well proverbs, sayings and quotations on a given subject. There is plenty of material appropriate for different levels of proficiency: from intermediate to advanced. I would even say that native speakers of English with somewhat limited social skills could benefit greatly by using this book.

"Compelling Conversations" encourages the reader to examine many different ways of thinking and teaches respect and genuine interest in other people's models of the world. It teaches active listening skills and offers gentle conversation reminders, such as be kind, explore, be open, be supportive, that help the reader set a positive intention for each interaction.

I am glad to have found a book that combines great content, conversational skills and psychology of empowerment.

Natasha Cooper, author of ESL how-to books "Scripts for Winning Jobs" and "The Telephone for Business and Daily Life".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wholesome learning resource!, December 4, 2008
By 
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
When compelling conversations got into my hands I couldn't help but to think: I wish I had this book when I was learning English!

As English as a second language speaker, I can really tell the difference that compelling conversations has with other ESL text books: topics richness that takes learning at a higher level.

Not only you will feel motivated to improve your language skills, but you will have a rich-provoking theme about life to discuss and share with your tutor or classmates. That in turn makes you grow personally and you certainly will remember the discussed matter here when need it to apply into a situation out of the classroom. You will appreciate American culture as well as other's point of view.

The book is very well structured into four sections totaling 45 chapters. Each one of them is organized into conversations starters followed by vocabulary, proverbs and the indispensable quotations. One that really caught my attention was the Arab proverb "he who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything"

I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn while enjoying the process.

Erika Villafane
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable tool for the ESL classroom!, April 27, 2007
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
This book is extremely rich in content. It contains deeper and more provocative questions than we usually find in advanced conversational texts. The authors provide an enormous variety of conversational topics, with 45 chapters and 30 or more questions in each chapter. ESL teachers will happily discover this book stimulates students to talk and encourages them to share their personal stories.

Educators who find this book useful, would also enjoy What's Up America?, a cultural guide for Advanced ESL students.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Conversations by Eric Roth, May 17, 2009
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students

The other day, a colleague loaned me a copy of Eric Roth's and Toni Aberson's book COMPELLING CONVERSATIONS (Chimayo Press, Charleston, SC) to use in my English as a Second Language intermediate and advanced level conversation classes, and I was immediately sold. The topics are timely, meaningful, and presented in such a way as to stimulate immediate class participation. Unlike many ESL books designed to improve conversational skills, it does not inadvertently "look down" upon the English language learner by using simplistic topics and jargon. COMPELLING CONVERSATIONS is just that: compelling. I recommend it highly to those who wish to become more proficient in English conversation and to teachers of ESL who wish to present meaningful lessons to their students who need to improve their conversation skills and ability to think in English.

Marc Yablonka
English Instructor
Pasadena City College
Community Education Center
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For ESL Education, September 29, 2007
By 
Ken Robidoux (West Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
Compelling Conversations is an effective tool for teaching conversational English to ESL students. However, it's combination of topic prompts to promote conversation and intriquing quotations to inspire thought make it a great tool for any composition instructor.

Having trouble coming up with a good prompt for your college comp. class free-write assignment? Compelling Conversations will provide you with seemingly endless choices.

I strongly recommend this book for any instructor interested in promoting conversation in and out of the classroom, and for any student interested in improving their English language conversational skills.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding for ESL and more, December 21, 2008
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
I cannot praise this book enough. It is an outstanding resource for producing natural, flowing conversations.
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. The result of these conversations is far beyond "speaking English." I am learning and connecting with my students on a level that helps me identify their desires and needs based on their responses to the questions. Heinz Pagels, the late American physicist, said: "It seems obvious to me that if you want to understand a spoken language, you out to study the people who speak it and speak it well." That is the connection I feel to teaching ESL when using this book. As a tutor, I too am sharing my culture and experiences and it enhances the learning process. There are many chapters in this book that can create compelling conversations outside of the ESL environment. If my parents were still living I would use "Describing Family Ties" to learn all those things I wondered about them but never asked. If I were exploring a possible relationship, using "Exploring Daily Habits" could be very insightful. The authors have my deepest respect and gratitude for this outstanding resource.

And thank you Amazon for bringing the book to my attention!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ennobling English. . ., July 20, 2008
This review is from: Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students (Paperback)
COMPELLING CONVERSATIONS fills a real niche in which I have been teaching for some years now. It suits the needs of advanced-level ESL students and clients as well as native speakers of English who need to improve their communication skills. The book's questions and quotations are just as useful for writing exercises as they are for speaking exercises.

I have found the material in the book to be very accessible to highly accomplished adults without insulting their intelligence. The questions are much more thought-provoking than the ones generally found in standard ESL textbooks. Concrete thinkers can enjoy all the detail while abstract thinkers can go off on tangents inspired by the proverbs and quotations.

The format of COMPELLING CONVERSATIONS is very flexible and readable. The three- and four-page chapters are easily broken down into parts, which can be a godsend when filler material is needed for intensive ESL classes. I am already a big fan of this book, and expect to become an even bigger one the more I use it.
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