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What is Talk a Lot?
Talk a Lot is a three-level conversation course designed exclusively for Japanese students. Talk a Lot, Starter Book is designed for students at the beginner level, Talk a Lot, Book One is designed or students at the false-beginner level, and Talk a Lot, Book Two is designed for students at the low-intermediate level. The course can be used successfully at universities, junior colleges, vocational schools, language schools, and high schools as well.
What kind of syllabus does Talk a Lot have?
Talk a Lot has a unique syllabus design in that neither grammar, function, topic nor vocabulary was the starting point in developing the materials. The prime consideration was that the activities be motivating to the typical English student in Japan. Talk a Lot has a "motivational" syllabus because the typical student at high school or university in Japan is poorly motivated. The next consideration was including useful vocabulary in each unit. Each unit has a main focus on grammar, function, or topic.
What makes Talk a Lot so different?
- Talk a Lot is designed for Japanese students in all aspects of the syllabus. The majority of texts claiming to be designed for the Japanese market are, in fact, aimed at a larger Asian/world market. Talk a Lot meets the needs of Japanese students better because it focuses on the needs of a specific population.
- Talk a Lot has a multi-syllabus approach. Most texts have a grammar/function-based or topic-based approach. Talk a Lot is based on motivation, grammar, functions, vocabulary, pronunciation, and topics, with motivation being the most important factor.
- There is no other conversation course with the wide variety of activities found in Talk a Lot. Because rigid uniformity often leads to boredom, the units do not follow a repeated pattern as most texts do. Most units progress from presentation to controlled practice, and then on to less controlled practice. But the text accomplishes this with different kinds of activities for each unit.
- Talk a Lot emphasizes interaction. Many tasks were designed to encourage students to negotiate meaning and share real information with each other.
- The vocabulary was carefully selected. Individual words and chunks that Japanese students are chronically unable to say in English were top priority.
- Talk a Lot teaches the more important aspects of pronunciation in context. Many texts have pronunciation sections in every unit whereas Talk a Lot teaches pronunciation where appropriate, in a communicative, non-forced manner.
- Most importantly, the activities in Talk a Lot really work! Most texts have activities that fall apart in actual classroom use, even though they have been field tested. The instructions are written in a clear, simple style that is understandable both to the teacher and student. An activity should be transparent and rich enough to be successful without reference to a teacher's manual, and Talk a Lot adheres to this belief. Talk a Lot is easy to use and requires little teacher preparation.