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.
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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.)
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.