Featured Book Review: Compelling American Conversations: Questions & Quotations for Intermediate American English Language Learners
Eric H Roth (Author), Toni Aberson (Author), and Hal Bogotch (Author)

Compelling American Conversations is the third in a series of textbooks whose main purpose is to assist intermediate students with learning the advanced conversation techniques of the American English language. All three of the authors have been involved with teaching English as a second language and it is clear that they are well educated, informed and very passionate about passing on their knowledge. The textbook stresses not just the formal learning of the language but also the casual conversational topics, which are so important in real life interactions. Chapters include sections on making and breaking habits, being yourself, handling stress, exploring American cities and more. Students also have the opportunities to discuss fashion styles, their hometown and other ordinary, everyday topics that will help them in real life.

The chapters are very structured and organized – each chapter includes a topic, a vocabulary list, writing exercises, pertinent quotes, homework and a section for notes. The quotations, from both historical Americans and other international figureheads, celebrities and personalities, make the reading material especially fascinating as some are even from contemporary individuals such as Oprah Winfrey and Lady Gaga. Additional educational benefits include a list of recommended online ESL resources, an academic word list, a bibliography of references, an index of quotations and even an index of proverbs by nationality. A short section on the backgrounds of the authors and the other two books in this series close the textbook.

Compelling American Conversations assists in furthering those who not only wish to learn but also to understand and embrace the American English language and gives them the opportunity and the tools to do so. This book admits that the American language is difficult and does not always follow the structure and grammatical rules and that this complicated but intriguing language has come about due to the vast variety of individuals from other countries with many different dialects and backgrounds. The premise of all three of the authors textbooks is that it is much easier to learn from actual conversations than from long lectures on vocabulary and grammar.

It is the day-to-day language skills that newcomers to the country need more than anything and it is the authors understanding of this premise that makes their works so pertinent and successful. Compelling American Conversations is a benefit to ESL teachers as it provides them with an interesting, useful and social tool to teach their students the essential conversation skills necessary to conduct day-to-day lives. The opportunities for interaction and the homework exercises provided give students the necessary exposure to the American English language, which will continue to assist them for years to come.

Compelling American Conversations: Questions & Quotations for Intermediate American English Language Learners
Eric H Roth (Author), Toni Aberson (Author), and Hal Bogotch (Author)
Laurie Selik (Photographer)

ISBN: 978-1468158366

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