Conversations in Class, 3rd Edition
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Conversations in Class, 3rd Edition is an oral communication textbook especially designed for low-intermediate Japanese university students who have studied English for six or more years but have had little or no experience with actual conversation. The book provides clear, step-by-step training in how to speak English more smoothly and naturally. Higher level students can also make use of the book as a springboard for conversation.
Structure of Lessons
Model Sentences display target language in an easy-to-understand visual manner. Japanese translations make new language even easier for students to learn and help teachers present new content more smoothly. Color-coded variation vocabulary provides additional options for self-expression. The accompanying audio tracks contain grammar and usage commentary in Japanese (English translations are available in the Teacher’s Book and at cic-multimedia.com.)
The Guided Speaking Practice section provides students with a reassuring step between the presentation of new language and free conversation. These visual manga-style dialogs provide vital repetitive practice in an engaging manner. In addition, they present additional language chunks in the context of conversations students are currently learning.
This book deals with cultural differences by focusing on three Golden Rules, which are cultural tips on how to conduct more natural, interactive, and friendlier conversations by avoiding long silences, giving longer answers, and varying conversation patterns. They are introduced at the beginning of the book and are repeated within the context of each unit’s topic, enabling students to review and incorporate these basic principles into their speaking practice.
Each unit contains various activities for practicing conversation:
Memorize & Perform: students pair-write, memorize, then perform a short dialog. This task enables them to learn new language in a collaborative manner and holds them accountable for their effort.
Interview & Report: Students interview each other, switch partners, then do mini-presentations on what their previous partner said. This task helps students practice giving longer turns and listening actively.
Free Conversation: Students do several rounds of timed conversations with different partners.
Guided Role-play: This task helps students review previously learned language and practice thinking quickly and creatively in the moment. It also provides a break from always talking about oneself.
"As an introductory university textbook that allows students to build up their confidence and English conversational competences, this text succeeds at what it sets out to do: help “low-intermediate Japanese university students have successful conversations in English” "
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. 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.
2. What sorts of teaching contexts is this book appropriate for?
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.