Compelling Conversations – Japan

: Questions and Quotations for High-Intermediate Japanese English Language Learners

Do you teach speaking skills to Japanese English language learners?

- Do your students need to improve their conversation skills?

- Are you looking for an EFL conversation textbook that creates positive English language experiences?

Compelling Conversations- Japan: Questions and Quotations for High Intermediate English Language Learners provides a wise range of speaking activities that gently encourages students to answer questions, ask friendly questions, and share their stories of living in Japan in English. Students learn to express opinions, give reasons, compare events, and explain aspects of modern Japanese culture. The fluency-focused activities also ask student to research topics and share their results in small group discussions. Step by step, phrase by phrase, students talk about their lives, exchange insights, and enjoy chatting about 12 contemporary topics in English.

Written by a team of experienced English teachers, this book expands upon the popular communicative techniques used in prior Compelling Conversations books and focuses on the specific needs of Japanese English language learners. This title is the fourth book in the critically-acclaimed Compelling Conversations series. The three co-authors have taught English to college students and working professionals for a total of over 40 years, including 17 years inside Japan.


Recommendations for Compelling Conversations- Japan


A much needed book for Japanese English Language Learners.

As an ESL teacher and accent reduction coach, I regularly encounter frustrated students from Japan who don’t feel comfortable speaking English.  Their English learning experiences consisted mostly of the traditional method of learning grammar rules and preparing for English exams.

Compelling Conversations – Japan will prove very useful to Japanese English learners who want to travel or study in the US or simply feel more comfortable conversing in English. With this book, the learner won’t stop talking.  And that’s the goal!

It’s more than just a conversation book. It’s also a cross-cultural awareness book, filled with proverbs and cultural insights.  It also has great vocabulary expansion exercises. There are valuable English pronunciation exercises focusing on the sounds that are difficult for native Japanese speakers. It contains tons of fun and thought-provoking conversation topics relevant a person from a Japanese cultural background.

A must-have for a conversation class with Japanese learners of English.
Lisa Mojsin
Author, Mastering the American Accent


One of the Best Books Available for Intermediate English Students

"I have been using Compelling Conversations with my intermediate students for years. With it`s range of topics it`s a great book to get students to a higher level of fluency. I am very excited to see that Eric has released a new version specifically for Japan.  The book has been expanded to include content which Japanese students can culturally relate to, as well as more exercises and unique practices to get students talking.  These additions make the book a significant improvement, and in my opinion one of the best books available for intermediate English students."


Marshal Holmes-Owner and Head Teacher

Eikaiwa English World

Okinawa, Japan


A Fantastic Resource for Both Instructors and Students


Compelling ConversationsJapan is a fantastic resource for both instructors and students. The stimulating tasks expand the learner’s knowledge and promote quick acquisition of important lexical phrases for active, stimulating use in a real-world context. This latest version is a must-have volume for high intermediate and advanced Japanese students that are interested in improving their oral skills in English.


Dr. J.J. Polk

Author of English in Global Contexts and English Questions




Understands the Needs of Japanese Students when Developing English Skills


"Compelling Conversations-Japan is a must have book for English teachers teaching in Japan. Each chapter is carefully organized so that students can build confidence in speaking while learning and talking about Japan. Every chapter begins with a vocabulary exercise, then by using the new vocabulary, students talk about unique topics that the book presents. Compelling Conversations presents a variety of topics to discuss, pronunciation skills to practice, and cultural trivia to learn something new about Japan so that the students will always have something to talk about. The book also understands the needs of Japanese students when developing English skills and the content of the book effectively addresses those needs.  If you want to get your English students engaged in your classroom, this is the book to get!"


Kaz Shida


USC International Academy




Quickly Speak with Clarity and Knowledge


Compelling Conversations - Japan will teach you to speak English in both short and longer words. This book will enable you to simply, clearly, and quickly speak with clarity and knowledge to express thoughts and ideas in correct English.

You will learn through diverse activities to feel at home with such everyday subjects as dining, travel, common terms used abroad, and related vocabulary. It will strongly motivate you to use American English in a clear, simple, and easy manner.


James T. Keating

Author, Writing Modern English: A Stylebook for Writers of English as a Second Language


learn to co-create captivating conversations


Conversation is the key to making meaningful connections. By learning to converse in English, you can open up discussions with many more people than if you only speak Japanese. Compelling Conversations offers the tools for communication that go beyond just the surface; you learn to co-create captivating conversations that can foster lasting connections.


Sara Johnston

International Student Adviser

AOI College of Languages

Irvine, California


Perfect for those learners who want to use their English, but are scared of losing face or making a mistake if they do


"Compelling Conversations continues to be the go-to text for instructors who want to engage students in a lively, rich discussion!   Having worked extensively with students in Japan, I know that this text is perfect for those learners who want to use their English, but are scared of losing face or making a mistake if they do.  This text provides a deep well of topics and activities that strike that tricky balance.  It gets them talking, learning and feeling comfortable all at the same time!"

Jennifer Weaver, English language instructor, MA Intercultural Relations

Your Book is my top conversation resource

As an ESL tutor for over 20 years, your book (Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics) is my top conversation resource. My adult Japanese students look forward to the varied topics, related conversation questions, academic vocabulary and now sharing about their culture in the new version specially designed for Japanese English language learners.

Jane Dean

Adult ESL tutor

Profile Photo Eric H. Roth

About Eric H. Roth

ERIC H. ROTH teaches international graduate students the pleasures and perils of academic writing and public speaking in English. Holding the title of master lecturer at the University of Southern California (USC)., he has won two USC teaching with technology awards and frequently presented at CATESOL and TESOL conferences. Roth has also co-authored four books in the Compelling Conversations textbook series for English language learners and taught English and writing courses for over 20 years. He is also the co-founder of Chimayo Press.

SHIGGY ICHINOMIYA is a professional photographer, recreational triathelete, and English materials writer. After graduating from Boston University with a major in English, he moved to Japan, taught English to adults and children for a decade, and learned Japanese. Upon moving to California, Ichinomiya refocused on photography and created, a website to help English language learners.

BRENT WARNER teaches English as a a lecturer at USC in the International Academy. He also received his Masters in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language from USC and taught English in Japan for over ten years. Warner created and his weekly podcast has won critical accalim and a niche audience of serious educators. Warner is also the author of the EFL ebook, How to Pass the TOEFLibt Test.

All books by Eric H. Roth

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