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COMPELLING CONVERSATIONS by Eric H.  Roth

COMPELLING CONVERSATIONS

Questions & Quotations for Advanced Vietnamese English Language Learners

From the Compelling Conversations series, volume 1

By Eric H. Roth (Author) , Toni Aberson (Author)

Pub Date: March 20th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0982617816
Publisher: CreateSpace

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.