Conversations in Class, 3rd Edition
Conversations in Class is a conversation textbook designed for low-intermediate Japanese university students who have studied English for six years or more but have never had an actual real-time conversation.
These students have all learned patterns such as “Have you ever…?” or “How often do you…?”, but have rarely put them into practice in the context of meaningful conversations. Simply doing that will be a big step for them. They need to reactivate their knowledge and move quickly into speaking practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What makes this textbook unique?
1. Each unit revolves around a topic of daily life. Students can quickly get to the stage of talking about their lives, which is something they can really enjoy.
2) What sorts of teaching contexts is this book appropriate for?
2. Each lesson is centered on a few basic questionanswer structures, called Model Sentences. These
are presented in a simple and visual way so that students can infer grammar patterns at a glance. Variation vocabulary allows students to then create many meaningful sentences. This combination of simplicity and flexibility is what brings about something rare in Japanese EFL classrooms:students actually having and enjoying interactive conversations in real time.
3. Simple yet powerful pragmatic strategies are introduced and practiced. These help students avoid making the kinds of mistakes which typically hinder conversation, such as long silences, overly short answers, and an over reliance on questions.
Genuine low-intermediate students, such as those commonly found in Freshman English courses at university, are the main target audience, but the book can also be used with high school students or adult learners. The content is targeted towards the A1~A2 levels on the CEFR scale1 but can be used with a wider range, from pre-A1 up to B2, making this book ideal for mixed-level classes. For lower level students, the content represents an achievable aspirational goal, while higher level students will use it as a starting point and focus more on mastering the pragmatic elements. This book seeks to build upon six or more years of EFL instruction and transform English from a subject to be learned into a skill to be used for making life better and more interesting.
3) How long does it take to cover one unit?
Each unit consists of three parts, and each part takes about 60 minutes to complete depending on your teaching style, class size, and level of the students. If you teach one part per class, you should have some time left over for review and/or expansion activities.
4) How much of the textbook can I cover in one university semester?
The book has been designed with a typical 15-week semester in mind. At a rate of three classes per unit, you will be able to cover four units per term and have a few classes left over for review, testing, or anything else you would like to do. Please refer to the following Model Syllabus for more details.
5) What does the website have to offer?
, students will be able to access all of the audio tracks, photocopiable worksheets
, practice key vocabulary via online interactive flash cards
, and download full transcripts
of all the Grammar & Usage Notes and Sounding Natural Notes. In addition to all of these, the teachers’ section of the site will feature a Teacher’s Blog
that provides additional support, lesson activities, and downloadable resources.
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