On August 15, 1977, a strong radio signal from deep space was detected by a radio telescope in the US, to be taken by many astronomers for an extraterrestrial message. This was one of the factors to inspire Carl Sagan, famous scientist and author, to write Contact (1985) – a book in which astronomer Eleanor (Ellie) Arroway, a talented and determined researcher, and her team discover an extraterrestrial message, to be then decoded by leading scientists around the world.
The book can give us some engrossing materials for adult LLs, whether you use some fragments, or adapt them, depending on your students' level. Many issues are discussed in the novel, from personality's development, and education, to gender stereotypes, as it is based on the author's experience as well as that of his wife and colleague, Ann Druyan.
What can be of particular importance to us is that this work is about language and communication as well as about scientific exploration, and religious views of the universe: interpreting some verbal and non-verbal codes of interpersonal, intercultural and international communication – apart from communication with extraterrestrial beings through decoding "the message".
Modes of thought, 'skepticism' and 'wonder', which Sagan believed "central to the scientific method", and the ways they are expressed in the book, are also interesting to discuss with adult students (especially if you work with those specializing in science, technology, engineering etc.)
Hope you will find the text (fragments attached) of use too.
Lala Sadykhova, PhD