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What is Topic Talk?

Topic Talk is a high-beginning/low-intermediate level speaking and listening course designed exclusively for Japanese students. The course can be used with teenagers or young adults, and is suitable for both large or small classes. The text can be used as the main speaking-listening coursebook, or as a supplementary text. A Teacher's Guide and audio component are sold separately. The entire Teacher's Guide is also available free of charge in PDF format from this website.

What kind of syllabus does Topic Talk have?

As its title suggests, Topic Talk is a topic-based conversation course. Each interactive, fluency-based unit engages students and encourages them to share their own lives, interests, and opinions. The main speaking task within each unit is introduced by listening to a completely unrehearsed recording of native speakers doing the very same task. The underlying approach behind the course is that students (at any level) need to be exposed to authentic English.

What are the major features of the course?

  • Topic Talk is designed for Japanese students in all aspects. The majority of texts claiming to be designed for the Japanese market are, in fact, aimed at a larger Asian/world market. Topic Talk meets the needs of Japanese students better because it focuses on the needs of a specific population.
  • Topic Talk has a flexible design which is easily adaptable to any teaching situation. Each unit of the Student's Book provides 50-60 minutes of practice. Teachers can select from up to another 50 minutes of optional extension activities from the Teacher's Guide. In addition, each unit has an optional Warm-Up activity which can be downloaded from this website.
  • In addition to the extension activities, the Teacher's Guide includes tapescripts of the authentic conversations, translations of key words and expressions, and answer keys. The tapescripts are also available at our website. They can be downloaded and then modified, allowing teachers to create their own tailor-made exercises.
  • Pronunciation practice is integrated into every unit.
  • Translations of the unit questions and key vocabulary from the listenings are given in a unit by unit format at the end of the Student's Book. Roman characters are used for the Japanese so that non-Japanese teachers can access the vocabulary as well. For those who prefer a pure Japanese version, one is available from this website.
  • Topic Talk is both user and teacher-friendly. The book is extremely easy to use and requires very little teacher preparation.
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