English “Conversation” Classes are the Most Common Teaching Jobs AbroadGet some INSIDER HELP with your lessons and save at least 100 hours of preparation time with Talk Talk Talk.

This eBook is written by an EFL teacher working overseas since 1992 with a master’s degree in education and a PGCE in TEFL.

What makes a good English conversation book?

Good question!

There are many English books on the market. Many of these books are not specifically geared for conversation.

They come with audio for students to to work on their listening skills.

They have written passages that students can read to work on their reading skills.

They have lots of writing activities and exercises that students can use to work on their writing skills.

All of these skills are important and needed but are they really ideal for a conversation class?

No!

A good conversation book should be about TALKING!

A good conversation book should have LOTS of:

  • topics that can be used as a basis for conversation
  • verbal activities for pairs and small groups
  • role play situations in which students can practice the language in the classroom before encountering similar situations in the real world
  • games and fun activities for student participation
  • commonly used expressions that students can begin to use immediately to enhance their speaking ability
  • questions that students can ask each other
  • expressions and structures that students can easily transfer to various topics or situations

What are structures and expressions?

Structures are basic sentence patterns that are used when forming sentences. Many sentences can be formed by using basic structures. Look at these two structures.

Question: What kind of ________ do you like?

Answer: I like ___________________.

When a student learns this structure, they can talk about any number of topics simply by filling in the blanks with the topic of their choice. They can ask and talk about music, movies, politics, weather, food and more.

Expressions are just commonly used sentences or phrases that are used when communicating with others. People don’t form brand new sentences when they speak. They use the multitude of expressions already available. Expressions can be modified very simply by changing a couple of words in the sentences to cover a large number of topics.

Question:

What do you think of ____________?

What is your opinion of ___________?

How do you like_________________?

Answer: I think___________________?

My opinion is _____________?

I like (don’t like) ___________?

Why are structures and expressions important?

They are important because they allow students to learn usable English that can be applied immediately when interacting with others. Initially they can memorize the basic structures and use them to communicate. By adding these basic expressions and structures to their repertoire, they can quickly increase their conversational skills.

What some of the structures and expressions are included in the eBook?

  • Greetings
  • Introductions
  • Farewells
  • Preferences
  • Invitations
  • Opinions
  • Agreeing/Disagreeing
  • Schedules
  • Indicating surprise
  • Indicating obligations
  • Help and advice
  • Comparisons
  • Describing people
  • Describing personalities
  • Compliments
  • Indicating anger
  • Describing things
  • Instructions
  • Interrupting
  • Directions
  • Telephoning
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Doctor
  • Banking
  • Hotels
  • Travel agency
  • Suggestions
  • Wh__ questions

Most verbal interactions begin with questions.

Think about it. Most people don’t just start rattling on without a reason. They are responding to questions.

The discussion topic section of each lesson contains questions relevant to the item under review.

In the lessons on questions, the questions are designed to allow the student to change the words to form another question that interests them. This allows for an unlimited opportunity for students to experiment and to learn by making mistakes.

Why is this eBook a good buy?

There are a lot of sites on the Internet that have activities for English classes and countless books in bookstores. But Talk Talk Talk specifically focuses on paired group work that maximizes student interaction. Each lesson consists of:

  • expressions and structures
  • a model dialogue that students can follow for having similar conversations
  • a discussion topic related to the structure or expression under review
  • role play situations that provide additional practice

Some lessons have an activity for additional practice.

You may be thinking  that you already have a pretty good conversation book. Why do I need something else?

Well, maybe you don’t.

BUT…

  • Can a teacher really have too much material?
  • Does a teacher ever have enough supplemental material readily at hand?
  • Do you have trouble wracking your brains to develop activities and games that are appropriate for your students?
  • If there are just a couple of ideas in this book that may help fill the gap in your lessons, won’t it be worth it?

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