Quality Conversations Matter The art of conversation, once considered the sign of a civilized individual, seems less common today. Yet we count the pleasures of sharing experiences, collecting news, and exchanging ideas one of the pleasures of life. These natural conversations provide information, encouragement, and pleasure. Many people say that they are too busy to have long talks. Other people prefer to watch television, play computer games, or listen to the radio rather than talk to relatives and friends. Sometimes people feel too shy to speak to the people next to them. Many Americans, it seems to us, have forgotten how to hold good, deep conversations, or even a friendly chat with neighbors. we suspect this lack of real communication lessens their joy. Barriers to Conversation in English Classrooms Of course, people learning English as a second, third, or fourth language face even more barriers. English remains a strange, confusing, difficult, and misspelled language - and it's easy to feel uncomfortable when speaking in this new tongue. • What questions can I ask? • How do keep a conversation going? • What is the word for ……? What vocabulary words do I need? • How do show my agreement, or disagreement, in a lively, yet polite way? • How can I share my experiences with a limited vocabulary? • Will I be understood? • How else can I ask a question? • How can I reduce the possibility of being misunderstood? • How can I have better and more engaging conversations in English? • Where can I practice my speaking skills in a safe, tolerant atmosphere? Creating Meaningful Classroom Dialogue Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics addresses these issues for both native and non-native English speakers. The focus is on learning by doing, and making good mistakes. (Good mistakes are mistakes that are natural, and we can learn from so we can make different and better "good mistakes" next time.) Each chapter includes 30 or more questions, 10 or more focused vocabulary words, a few proverbs, and 10 or more quotations. Although designed for advanced students (and English teachers!), intermediate ESL students will find plenty of material to use and can benefit from exposure to the new words, phrases, and questions. 45 Timeless Topics to Spark Conversations Each of the 45 chapters focuses on a common conversation topic. The questions allow the reader to practice exchanging experiences and ideas in a natural style. You can add questions, skip questions, and move on to related topics. Each chapter begins with easier questions and moves on to questions that are more abstract. This scaffolding makes the conversation exercises suitable for a wider range of English language learners. Natural Conversations Evolve Real conversations naturally evolve. Both native and non-native English speakers will find the questions allow one to share experiences, exchange insights, and reflect on life. Therefore, the questions include conversation starters and many clarification questions. These are not artificial "look, see, do" scripts to rigidly follow. The goal remains to create dialogue, increase understanding of other people, and gently push you toward using a richer vocabulary in English conversation. This flexibility has also made Compelling Conversations popular with online tutors who teach English conversation over the internet. Practice Makes Progress Practice may not make perfection, speaking English every day – especially in meaning conversations - does lead to significant progress. Compelling Conversations gives you the tools and phrases to talk more and listen better to friends and strangers in English . So go ahead. Ask more. Know more. Share more. And create your own Compelling Conversations!