Compelling Conversations

Compelling Conversations

ISBN-13: 978-1419658280
eISBN: 978-0-9826-1785-4

Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics

Compelling Conversations, an innovative English as a second language textbook, helps advanced English language learners develop conversation skills and improve fluency by sharing experiences, reflecting on their lives, and discussing proverbs and quotations.

The Compelling Conversations book includes 45 thematic chapters, over 1400 questions, 500 vocabulary words, 250 proverbs and American idioms, and 500 quotations. Designed for both adult education and intensive English language students, the conversations deepen critical thinking skills and speaking skills essential to success in community college and university programs. Compelling Conversations has been used in classrooms in over 40 countries, recommended by English Teaching Professional magazine, and enjoyed by thousands of English students. Whether Compelling Conversations is used as a primary textbook or a supplement to conversation classes can be determined by the instructor. The content is flexible and the chapters both build upon each other and function on their own. Compelling Conversations has also inspired a blog that frequently updates with English speaking tips, book reviews and other conversation starters for the classroom. As always, our goal is for our readers to ask more, share more and know more–create compelling conversations.

Publication Date: 2006
ISBN-13: 978-1419658280
eISBN: 978-0-9826-1785-4
Authors: Eric Roth, Toni Aberson

Check out a free sample chapter!

 Click below for purchasing details for Compelling Conversations through:

Amazon’s Createspace



To purchase a class set, contact Eric here.

Compelling Conversations can generate all sorts of discussions! What are people saying about CC?


“In my own teaching, I have found questions and quotations to be highly effective in promoting student discussion. Questions are useful in that they require a response from the listener. Asking them also helps students master the tricky rules of the interrogative. Quotations are brilliant flashes of wit expressed in the shortest space possible, often just a sentence or two. The authors have compiled a formidable collection of quotations by famous people from Napoleon and Aristotle to Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone. In sum, Compelling Conversations is a recommended resource for teachers who want to make their conversation classes more learner-centered. It should be especially appealing to those who wish to escape the confines of the Presentation-Practice-Production approach and do without a formal grammatical or functional syllabus. It reflects the authors’ considerable professional experience, and would be a notable addition to any English teacher’s bookshelf.”

Hall Houston English teaching professional


Compelling Conversations topics are timely, meaningful, and presented in such a way as to stimulate immediate class participation.” 

Marc Yablonka author and ESL teacher


“This outstanding resource allows teachers to confidently walk into an advanced ESL classroom with self-contained, engaging conversation lessons. The 45 thematic chapters allow you to both evoke student experience with long lists of practical and savvy questions.

The inclusion of global proverbs and classic quotations also provides larger cultural contexts to inspire deeper conversations – or writing assignments. Students should also appreciate the generous amount of authentic language. I wish I had this book in my old adult/university classes. A great book for adult education teachers, university instructors, and private tutors!”

Eric Busch Director/Founder of, August 2007


“What makes this book extremely useful is:

The fact that the student who utilize these conversation topics in a group setting will learn more than just language skills. Several references to history, famous speakers and writers are made in the many quotes used throughout the instructions.

The manual has, as the title suggests, a timelessness to its content. Ten years from now the subject matter used will still be pertinent. It is also arranged so that if further editions were published, the book would be very easy to update and enlarge. This book is meant to be used in a group setting. Not only will students learn new words but they will also be exposed to modern social skills and other intricacies of group dynamics. . . . Often English language courses consist of phrases and terminology that ordinary people will never use. Compelling Conversations does just the opposite – it provides the basis for a learning environment with tools that real people can actually utilize in real life and the real world.” April 2012


“How can I keep a conversation going? What vocabulary words are needed? How do I show agreement, or disagreement, in a lively, yet polite way? How can I share my experiences in a clear manner? Allow your students to develop authentic, meaningful conversations in English and deepen their critical thinking skills with this amazing text! Offering hundreds of hours of material for compelling conversations, this one-of-a-kind book encourages learners to practice exchanging experiences and ideas in a natural style.”

ALTA Catalog – Fall 2007


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