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From the Compelling Conversations series , Vol. 1

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

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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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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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