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Compelling Conversations : Selected Chapters

These 11 thematic chapters have been selected and revised for The Language Company in their Level 1 speaking skills class. This intermediate ESL (English as a Second Language) conversation textbook includes quotations, paraphrasing activities, proverbs, quotations, surveys, and online assignments. Chapter titles are: Going Beyond Hello; Coming to America; Being Home; Eating and Drinking; Exploring Daily Habits; Staying Healthy; Traveling; Driving Cars; California Calling; Enjoying Money; and Crime and Punishment. All chapters are adapted from the original ESL textbook Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics

Profile Photo Eric H. Roth

About Eric H. Roth

Eric Roth

Eric H. Roth teaches international graduate students the pleasures and perils of academic writing and public speaking in English at the University of Southern California (USC), and holds the title of “Master Lectuerer”. He also consults English language schools on communicative methods to effectively teach English, and writes and edits ESL/EFL books for English language learners with Chimayo Press.

Given a full scholarship as a Lilly Scholar, Roth studied philosophy and American history at Wabash College (1980-1984), and received his M.A. in Media Studies from the New School (1988). Since 1992, Roth has taught English to high school, community college, adult, and university students. Highlights of his career include: teaching the first Saturday morning citizenship class in Santa Monica (1994); directing the CES Adult Education Center (1995-1998); working with international students in summer IEP programs at UCLA Extension (1997-2000, 2003-2005); teaching USC engineering students in Madrid, Spain (2007) and Paris, France (2008); and directing the APU International High School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2009). USC promoted Roth to the title of Master Lecturer in 2013.

Roth co-authored Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics in 2006 to help English language learners increase their English fluency. Recommended by English Teaching Professional magazine, the advanced ESL textbook has been used in over 50 countries in English classrooms and conversation clubs. Easy English Times, an adult literacy newspaper, has published a monthly column, "Instant Conversation Activities," based on the book since 2008. The first specific version for a particular country, Vietnam, was published in 2011. Compelling American Conversations: Questions and Quotations for American English Language Learners , designed to help American immigrants develop both academic vocabulary and strengthen speaking skills in English, came out in 2012.

A member of the USC faculty since 2003, Roth is a member of numerous professional organizations including: California Association of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL); the International Communication Association (ICA); the International Professors Project (IPP); and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Roth has given several CATESOL and TESOL conference presentations and led many English teacher training workshops. He writes short reflective essays, reviews ESL/EFL related books and apps, and shares teaching tips at CompellingConversations.com/blog.

Roth looks forward to learning something new today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.

 

Toni Aberson

After 35 years of teaching English and supervising English teachers, Toni Aberson (M.A. English; M.A. Psychology and Religion) believes that a lively classroom is the optimal learning environment.

"If people are thinking, sharing, and laughing, then they’re learning," notes Aberson. "The mere fact that those adults are in an English classroom attests to their courage and their determination to learn."

"Adult English students bring a wealth of interesting experiences with them," continues Aberson. "They bring the world into the classroom. The challenge for English teachers is to put students at ease and encourage them to practice English. What better way than to ask students about their lives? I love teaching English."

Aberson wrote It's a Breeze: 42 Lively ESL Lessons on American Idioms (2012). This collection of 42 short English lessons focuses on specific American idioms and common phrases. The thematic chapters are organized into seven categories: Let's Get Started, Fun with Food, Body Language, Animal Wisdom, Colorful Language, How's the Weather?, and Where Are You?. Each concise self-contained chapter explores a single American idiom with clear definitions, sample sentences, short readings, comprehension checks, vocabulary lists, writing activities, and conversation questions for adult students.

"The key in a classroom is engagement," Aberson says, "and English students become interested and excited when they’re learning about the daily stuff of life. When they are thinking and writing and talking about their real lives—food, jobs, family, homes, sports, movies—that’s when they learn the language. Learning English is not easy. It can be a real challenge, but it can also be fun and stimulating. That’s what I’m aiming for—the real life and the fun that stimulates ESL students so they want to learn more. They want to jump in."

P.S. Eric Roth calls Toni “mom.”

All books by Eric H. Roth

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