C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

January 12, 2009

January Newsletter

Filed under: General — Jenn @ 7:00 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

January 2009


Graded Readers

As a librarian, I’m pretty passionate about reading (big surprise!)– any kind of reading.  I’m not a literature snob who turns my nose up at mass-market paperbacks, I don’t scorn genre fiction and I won’t judge you by the magazines to which you subscribe.  I have an MFA in English, but I’m just as likely to read a classic as I am to listen to the audiobook version of a young adult novel.  Reading of any sort is a valuable activity.

People like a good story.  Whether they’re drawn in by creatively constructed characters, true-life tales or the natural narrative arc of a scientific experiment, we like to be taken somewhere and reading transports us.  Without literacy skills, these “places” where individuals can go are quite limited.  Certainly films and television share something with books in their ability to inform, entertain and illustrate, but how often have we seen a movie and been told “If you like that, you should read the book!”

Graded readers can help open the doors of reading to English language learners of all ages and interests.  Readers, or language learner literature,

are a useful and easily accessible tool which can help students practice reading and gain reading fluency and turn hesitant readers into life-long learners and lovers of literature.

The Library has several graded reader series, offering a little something for all interest and skill levels.  For a list of our graded readers, visit the ESL or ABE/GED Research Guides and click FAQs.

While some students find graded readers on their own, many instructors require their students to select an appropriate-level reader of their choice.  Classroom assignments using the readers can include written book reports, oral presentations or quizzes on content or vocabulary.  Penguin Readers, a graded reader imprint, has made available a teachers’ guide to using graded readers in the classroom.  The guide includes information on how to use readers in the classroom,  templates for activities and assignments and more.  You can download a PDF of this guide at http://www.penguinreaders.com/downloads/PRTGUsingGradedReaders.pdf

If you are interested in creating an assignment using graded readers, or would like the readers introduced to your class, contact me and we can arrange a meeting or class visit.

Happy New Year and welcome back for the Spring semester!

Resource of the Month

BBC Learning English is a comprehensive language website offering almost a dozen interactive features for adult students of English.

Visitors to the site can learn business or news English through BBC stories, take quizzes based on current events and expand their vocabulary from a wide variety of topics including sports, Hollywood and holidays.

There are audio and video components to this site as well and, as can be expected, feature British English accents.  The speakers, however, have very clear “BBC English” accents.  Written English on the site can also pose problems when the occasional British English word varies greatly from American English or when slang appears.

Even if you don’t direct your students to this site, it can be a valuable resource for instruction, giving you ideas for in-class discussions or readings.

New Library Materials

Let’s Talk, volumes 1-3.  2nd edition
Author: Leo Jones
Call Number: PE1128 .J66 2008

50 Common Errors:  A Practical Guide for English Learners
Author:Bob Marsden
Call Number: PE1128 .M3426 2008

Oxford Picture Dictionary, 2nd edition
Author: Jayme Adelson-Goldstein and Norma Shapiro
Call Number: PE1629 .S52 2008

Slang Rules!:  A Practical Guide for English Learners
Author: Orin Hargraves
Call Number: PE2846 .H36 2008

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