Adrian Wallwork is the author of three discussion books for Cambridge University Press, four business English courses for Oxford University Press, ten books on academic English for SpringerNature (plus five on business English and six on general English), along with six books for the BBC, Scholastic and BEP. Read more
Katie Nevison studied English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, graduating with First Class Honours. She went on to complete her Masters in the same subject at Royal Holloway University of London, gaining a Distinction. At the time of her contribution to Discussions You’ve Never Had, Katie was teaching English at Wall Street English in Massa (Italy) and working privately with her own students Read more
English as a foreign or second language (EFL, ESL) classes in any part of the world.
How are the topics arranged?
The book is divided into sections: 1) General getting-to-know-you exercises; 2) All types of non-personal topics; 3) Questions and topics that require the teacher and student to have already built up a close relationship of trust - the topics are related to student's personal life, experiences and opinions.
The choice of topic is made by both teachers and students. This gives both teacher and student a feeling of being emancipated from course books.
What's the duration of a typical exercise?
The discussions can be exploited both as warm ups or as 20-30 minute discussions
What preparation is involved for the teacher?
Once the Teachers Introduction has been read, the discussions require virtually no preparation. Most exercises can be quickly dictated to students, or emailed/messaged (for lessons via Skype)Is there a teachers book? Yes. It can be downloaded for free here: The books themselves also contain a Teachers Introduction and a Students Introduction. The Students Introduction tells students how the book works along with various strategies for having an effective discussion and improving their conversation skills in general.
Some discussions lend themselves well to practising particular grammar and vocabulary points. It is up to the teacher to decide whether to make such points a focus or not. If they do decide to exploit this element, then in this case the preparation simply involves reading the associated teachers notes
What format is the book?
The book is only available for purchase on Amazon, in Paperback and Kindle formats. The format for Kindle reads best on a tablet, telephone or laptop. This means that you have the option to project exercises onto a screen / whiteboard for your students to see.
This book is divided into sections:
General getting-to-know-you exercises;
All types of non-personal topics;
Questions and topics that require the teacher and student to have already built up a close relationship of trust - the topics are related to student's personal life, experiences and opinions.