Table Talk is conversation-based learning. This book is designed to help teachers create an atmosphere conducive to the conversation by making the language spoken in class both comprehensible and engaging and build student confidence in answering questions. This will allow students to practice speaking English without the fear of being “on stage”. With “Table Talk!” students can spend time formulating their conversations, self-reflect, and self-assess, have real conversations with peers of differing skill levels, and in the end, feel confident in their abilities. This will encourage participation by making sure everyone get a turn to use their ability in a way they are comfortable. When something can be learned without effort, great effort has gone into its teaching. This book has done the hard work for you.
Each unit in the book contains the following pattern:
Page 1: New Vocabulary and Phrases—Setting the Table
Page 2: Ranking Activity
Page 3: Reading Comprehension
Page 4: Warm Up Activities
Page 5&6: Grammar Meets Conversation
Page 7&8: Conversation Starters
Page 9&10 Table Talk—Speed Dating
Page 11 The Final Talk—Writing a Five-Sentence Paragraph
Page 12: Chapter Summary—Clearing the Table
Page 13&14: Matching Activity
English conversation in an academic setting more closely resembles an interview or an interrogation rather than a relaxed and free-flowing exchange of information, ideas, and opinions. The purpose of Table Talk! Is to create an enjoyable space for students to talk with each other about the big and not-so-big questions of life. This book gives them the opportunity to explore the big questions, articulate their thoughts, and engage with the opinions of others. At any point during the discussion, should students come up with a question on the spot, they are encouraged to ask it to everyone. This will allow students to practice speaking English using a mix of lighter questions and some that are more challenging. The beauty of this is that the students choose the questions and set the agenda. If a question is discussed for a long time, do not worry—let the conversation flow. You may find that as students talk, new questions come up naturally. It is important that each student feels able to contribute as much or as little as they wish.