A slim, basic but solid activity and conversation book for teachers looking for direction in their English as a Foreign...

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COMPELLING CONVERSATIONS

QUESTIONS & QUOTATIONS FOR ADVANCED VIETNAMESE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

From the Compelling Conversations series , Vol. 1

Roth and Aberson return with the next installment of their Compelling Conversations series (Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics, 2007), presenting conversation topics, activity ideas and interesting quotes for Vietnamese students of the English language.

A combination textbook and workbook for “Advanced Vietnamese English Language Learners,” this book includes activities to execute with conversation partners or as part of a class, lists of vocabulary with clear definitions and proverbs and quotations revolving around each chapter’s theme. Some self-directed activities, such as documenting observations of other people’s speech patterns, are suggested in the margins. Specific chapter themes cover eating and drinking, making and keeping friends, exploring cities, talking about movies, school stories and bridging differences between strangers and cultures. The book’s appendix contains evaluation sheets for class presentations, interview sheets for student-stranger interactions and lists of vocabulary words without definitions (definitions are provided in the chapters themselves). There is some confusion about the audience of the book. Many sections direct the reader to break into groups and discuss themselves or specific quotations, implying that the book is not intended for learners studying on their own, but for groups or classes. The book seems most useful as a resource for teachers, and yet many portions directly address students. As the book currently exists, the teacher must adapt the sample responses and quotations if they wish to deploy that content in class. Despite these issues, the book has a number of strengths and the authors are veteran teachers whose experience is reflected in the book’s content. The conversation topics are useful and the proverbs, quotes and vocabulary are all appropriate for advanced Vietnamese EFL students. The book seems like it would be most effective for Vietnamese students studying in Vietnam, students who have little to no experience travelling abroad or limited access to native speakers of English. However, themes like “Eating and Drinking” will seem too basic for advanced speakers of English who have lived abroad or grown up in the U.S. or Australia.

A slim, basic but solid activity and conversation book for teachers looking for direction in their English as a Foreign Language classes.

Pub Date: March 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-0982617816

Page Count: 108

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 9, 2011

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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