The belief that “discussion” classes are easy to teach is one of the biggest misconceptions new teachers have. They believe that you walk into class and simply ask the students “what’s up?” Then, waves of conversation flow from the students mouths and the teacher sits back thinking about a party they will go to later in the night. Well, maybe I exaggerate but only a little. While many teachers approach their “discussion/conversation” classes this way the truth is that those teachers classes are not very good. “Discussion” classes need structure, they need a good lesson plan and they need a good textbook that is devoted to discussion classes. Today we are going to see if the textbook “Communication Strategies” written by David Paul and published by Thomson is one of those.
One of the most common goals students have is to sometime in the future use their English to get a promotion or start a new career. While there are many very good “standard” class textbooks and “discussion” class textbooks I’ve yet to find a business English textbook that I felt comfortable with. In today’s article we’re going to take a look at Cambridge University Press’s Business Explorer series. The Business Explorer series is a three level course designed for students who want to learn business English. The series covers the levels from beginner to lower intermediate and can be used with both group and private classes.
Today we will take a look at “Topic Talk” written by David Martin and published by EFL Press. I came across this book in a slightly unusual way in that I did not purchase it myself. It was actually left at my school by a teacher I had hired over 9 years ago. I have hundreds of different textbooks in my school and there are many that I have never even opened. After sitting on the shelf for some time I finally picked it up and leafed through it. At the time I was looking for some new class warm-up ideas. I found that a lot of the more major textbooks warm-ups weren’t producing the conversations that I wanted from my students. But before we get into that let’s go over some the basics of this book.