Need a conversation book suggestion

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Need a conversation book suggestion

Post by Kristin » Sun May 10, 2009 3:21 pm

I have very specific needs for one class I'm teaching. It's strictly a conversational class for beginners so the book needs to provoke lots of speaking, but with minimal grammar and NO listening exercises. It needs to cover a wide range of conversation topics (food, travel, money, health, etc). Specifically, twelve would be helpful (one topic per month). It also needs to have a lot of content per page, so that 2 or 3 pages would take 8 one-hour lessons to get through. If you are in Japan and have seen the "Let's Talk About It" book, in which each topic has one page with dozens of questions on it ("How much sleep do you get at night?" "What is the man in the picture doing?") and the other page has some vocabulary and fill in the blanks to supplement it, then a big exercise on question forming- I'm looking for something like that.. only, not that book. My co-worker already has dibs on using it :evil:

If anyone knows of a book like this, I'd be very grateful. I'm sick of making lesson plans for this class. :lol:

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Talking Your Head Off

Post by Eric18 » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:58 pm

As somebody who used to teach a two-hour conversation twice a week, I read your post with great sympathy.

You might find the book Talking Your Head Off of interest. The format is similar to your wishes, and it's cheaper than the popular Conversation Book 1 and Conversation Book 2 which just lists 20-25 words on various topics with a handful of predictable questions.

The key, it seems to me, in conversation classes remains to create a flexible, comfortable, and tolerant atmosphere where students can develop confidence and fluency.... and make good mistakes. As the instructor, you might want to circle the room, noting "good mistakes" like pronunciation or verb tense, and then review the common errors in a wrap up segment. I prefer this type of indirect correction, especially with older students and Asian students, because it allows everyone to save face while making progress. The majority of the class, however, remains free conversation.

Good luck.

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Post by surrealia » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:38 am

I think Eric Roth's book Compelling Conversations might be the perfect book for this class. Each chapter covers a different topic, and there are a lot of questions for discussion, along with some interesting quotations and proverbs.

You also might want to look at some resource books for teachers, such as Teaching Unplugged by Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings, for additional ideas.

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Post by Sally Olsen » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:41 am

Talk-A-Tivities (9780201099119): Richard Yorkey is another one.

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