Compelling American Conversations: Questions and Quotations for intermediate American English language learners explicitly emphasizes American language, culture, and democratic values.
The primary audience is newcomers to the United States, recent and not-so-recent immigrants, who may be studying at an American high school, adult school, community college, or university. Focused on the needs and aspirations of intermediate English language learners, the text shows a variety of ways to create and sustain authentic conversations with a developing English vocabulary. Compelling American Conversations challenges intermediate English language learners to reflect and speak about their lives and experiences on 15 topics in class and in English. Knowing English should include the ability to speak English.
Therefore, we deliberately chose to emphasize speaking skills and fluency in Compelling American Conversations. Each chapter includes:
We also include academic vocabulary and more philosophical questions because American immigrants deserve the same level of sophisticated materials which international English as Foreign Language (EFL) students enjoy in the stronger international high schools.
From our perspective, there is something profoundly disturbing in dumbing down of curriculum materials for English language learners in the United States. Compelling American Conversations seeks to introduce higher expectations for verbal skills and more authentic materials and relevant topics to the intermediate ELL and ESL classrooms. Students should be able to not only listen and understand, but speak and be understood.
Finally, the authors hope American English language learners begin asking more questions in classes, speak more in their workplaces, and create their own compelling American conversations – outside ESL classrooms.