Author: Elaine Kirn
Suitable for: Secondary Students, Young Adults, Adults
What It Is: A 166-page worktext created when a "higher-level" oral-skills book proved too challenging for Intermediate-Level second-language learners
Why You Need It: Gratifying as it is when language learners or at-risk native speakers manage to optimize their listening/speaking skills on their own with only a modicum of "coaching," it rarely happens. Experience shows that they often need more input, like review of grammar & structures; vocabulary lists & samples of usage; organizational steps & models to follow; cues, clues, tips, & monitoring; and helpful ideas for improvement. That's much of what Before Speaking aims to provide.
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What It Does:
follows Beginners' Before Speaking but precedes Speaking in level of challenge; gives less help in language use than the first but much more than the second
contains ten (10) sections of material for effective talk about Things, Places, & People. These ensure that learners will be able to:
• Greet & Introduce People • Name & Classify Things • Describe Objects • Compare Stuff • Describe Places & Scenes • Ask & Follow Directions • Get & Give Info About Places • Describe People • Tell About People's Lives • Get to Know Individuals
displays a large assortment of photos, many black-and-white vintage reminders of the author's own experiences. Because these were originally created "in context," text users might enjoy comparing their own (imaginative) interpretations of them to what was originally true (as documented in the Answer Key). Internet photos also contribute to the sense of accurate, practical realism that pervades the text.
"teaches" learners what they need to know and do to achieve oral language proficiency, by means of these components of each section:
- Grammar & Vocabulary Notes that show structural patterns and many of the words appropriate for the speaking tasks that follow. Additional Language Notes offer advice that's mostly "Teacher Talk." And there are starred **Cultural Questions to answer.
- Numbered Interactive Oral-Skills Activities with step-by-step instructions, samples in speech balloons, and some **Challenge Steps; visuals, realia, information, and data integral to the tasks
- a culminating Ready for Speaking? Mini-Speech "assignment" with follow-up, feedback, and "polishing" that puts it all together at the end of each section