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Frequently Asked Questions

"Keep it light, bright, and polite."
English proverb

"The unexamined life is not worth living."
Socrates (467-399 BCE), Greek philosopher

 

Compelling Conversations for Advanced ESL StudentsWhat is Compelling Conversations?
Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics is an engaging conversation textbook for advanced English language learners.

Who can use Compelling Conversations?
Compelling Conversations is an ideal text for conversation classes at community colleges, adult schools, libraries, and intensive English programs. It can also be used as a supplemental text for high intermediate and advanced ESL/EFL classes. Conversation clubs have found the textbook makes their sessions easier to organize and more popular. It’s also a welcome guide for anyone seeking to generate new conversations with family members and friends.

How is Compelling Conversations different from other conversation textbooks?
Compelling Conversations offers a far larger range of topics, includes hundreds of proverbs and quotations, and treats students as sophisticated adults. We believe that adult students come to English class to improve their speaking skills and share life experiences, not be lectured on their health habits or lifestyle choices. 

Can you give an example?
Many of our students smoke, gamble, and occasionally dislike their jobs. Compelling Conversations encourages students to talk about their actual feelings and opinions, and doesn't judge them.  We ask both "why do you think people find smoking satisfying?" and "What are some of the dangers of smoking cigarettes?" We also include quotations from a range of well-known figures from differing perspectives so a student will find validation for their own personal choices.

Aren’t you afraid to have students talk about controversial subjects?
Why should we just talk about the weather and become bored when we could explore our lives, times, passions, and challenges? Discussing controversial subjects and engaging students in practical issues of their lives also encourages critical thinking.

Why do you use quotations?
The dueling quotations also allow students to join conversations that have continued across cultures and centuries. As a result, students can deepen their conversations, see models of excellent communication, and become more familiar with classic thinkers from ancient world to modern times. Take a look at the sample chapters and see how Compelling Conversations can help students improve their speaking skills.

Can I make copies for myself, other teachers, students or friends?
Photocopying rights are granted to the individual teacher purchasing the materials. A school or department may purchase this book for one teacher’s use. In a department, one original copy should be purchased for each teacher using the book. To be entitled to copy this book, the teacher using the book in the school or the school itself must own an original copy. Please respect our intellectual property (and sweat equity!) and copyright laws.


"Do you want to know how to have a conversation? Ask a question. Listen."
Robert Bly (1926- ), American poet