Customer Reviews: Keep Talking: Communicative Fluency Activities for Language Teaching (Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers)
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on August 14, 2000
"Keep Talking" contains over one hundred different fluency-building activities for the language teacher to use either directly, or with modification, in her language classroom. Each activity has a well defined purpose, whether it be functional or structural, and is categorized according to language level, skill and student arrangement, stating clearly whether or not preparation is necessary, and how long the tasks typically take. The procedural instructions are lucid and relatively easy to convey to most groups of language learners, and there is also scope for variation for many of these language games, along with helpful comments on how make such activities fun and achievable. If one also includes the importance of making notes, and obtaining feedback, which Kippel suggests in the introduction, then it is clear just how useful this book is. Although I was at first confused as to why the author grouped his language learning activities under themes such as jigsaw task, interview, or story telling, rather than according to function or structure, I think his point is to focus on fluency and engendering a communicative atmosphere, rather than to actually teach anything or practice something too specific. The teacher's role, therefore, appears to be as a facilitator or classroom manager. In any case, the indexes include language structure (but not function) and level, making navigating relatively straight-forward. "Keep Talking" also contains about sixty worksheets which can be copied for use in class. Although I no longer use them in my teaching situation, I borrow ideas from them all the time. This book is not suitable for formal institutions, but otherwise, whether you are new to language teaching, or a seasoned pro, I feel fairly confident that there is something in this book for you.
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on November 21, 1999
As an ESL teacher in China for the past 12 years, I have found this book a great help and, at times, a life-saver. "Keep Talking" is one of the best sources of English language games and activities for the ESL classroom. Logically arranged and with clear instructions on how to use, lanaguage level, time needed and aim of the activity, this book is a must for all ESL teachers, but especially for those teaching for a year or two overseas without strong formal ESL training. You won't be disappointed.
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on December 8, 2003
This book is pretty good. It has photocopiable games at the back that I use fairly often. My only complaint about this book is that it isn't organized in a way that lets me find specific activities for practicing specific grammar points. It's organized by type of game (i.e. picture games, word games, acting, etc.) But all in all, it's pretty good
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on January 3, 2007
So there I was at my first TESOL convention having almost completed my MA TESL/TEFL. I was literally salivating at the Cambridge book stall. Everything looked so great, but as a student you have limited funds. Suddenly an older woman walked up to me, recognized my bibliophile stupor and asked if I was a new teacher. I answered yes and she grabbed this title and "Discussions That Work" by Penny Ur. These two books have been invaluable in my teaching for the past five years. The activities are well organized and the explanations help as a springboard for my own ideas. As with all Cambridge series, the preference is British English, so if you are a purist, some activities are not readily available for American. I have found that my students don't usually notice the difference. All in all, this is the one book in my ESL library that I look in first when I am at a complete loss for what to do.
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on December 1, 2006
I bought this book as a requirement for one of my college classes. As a foreign language and second language teacher, I referred to it often for ideas. I loaned it to another teacher who left the country without returning the book. I loved the book so much I bought it a second time. Now, I never loan this book to anyone.
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on January 12, 2007
I was very disappointed in this book. Like many of the books in the Cambridge series, it seemed a little dated. For anyone who lives in the US I think the cooperate learning series by Kagan is far superior and is easily adapted for ESL.
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on September 9, 2013
Great book. It is nice to have the information available for use in class. My students love to talk, but there are some days that seem like nothing can motivate them to speak up. It is nice to see different views on getting students motivated when they are not.
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on June 22, 2011
I liked the book a lot because it is going to help me my ESL classes including conversation classes. It offers a great source of activities.
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on January 18, 2013
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on May 24, 2015
Not the best
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