Real Talk 1, by Lida Baker and Judith Tanka, helps intermediate to high-intermediate students break away from the classroom and enter the world of authentic English. Each of the book’s eight thematic chapters has four parts: In Person, On the Phone, On the Air, and In Class. The listening segments expose students to spontaneous face-to-face conversations, phone conversations and pre-recorded messages, radio broadcasts, and academic lectures.
Listen to sample audio from Real Talk 1 (samples are in .mp3 format):
In Person: Chapter 3: Marrying Someone Different (2:13)
On the Phone: Chapter 6: Calling a Pharmacy (2:31)
On the Air: Chapter 8: Radio Interview — Lying (2:47)
In Class: Chapter 4: Lecture — Rap Music (abridged for sample) (2:10)
(Radio interview reproduced with permission of CBC.)
Experience authentic language features such as hesitation, interruption, and interjection.
Vocabulary exercises prepare students to discuss specific topics.
Listening strategies give students tools for personal and academic success.
Note-taking and outlining practice prepare students for university and college-level listening.
Speaking activities such as role plays, presentations, and debates reinforce the use of authentic English.
All these features address the new emphasis on listening and speaking skills in current standardized tests.
For high-intermediate to advanced students, see Real Talk 2.