English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.1
EA Journal Volume 27 No 1 100 Rhinoceros). Students can use these articles to record and monitor their reading speed as they progress through the levels. There is also a Teacher’s Book for each level. I was happy to see the inclusion of detailed, clearly set out lesson plans here, as well as printable worksheets and quizzes. The worksheets provide questions on the vocabulary and the specific language focus of each reader. Teachers may also be interested in the (optional) assessment CD-ROM, again available per level, which allows you to create related tests and quizzes using a variety of question types (multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essays and so on). The readers come with an optional Multi-ROM which contains the audio recording of the book and related videos from 3 to 13 minutes in length. Schools might prefer to opt for the complete audio CDs and video DVDs, which include all the audio-visual material for a particular level. The videos, developed by National Geographic Digital Media, closely follow the reader but add the dimension of genuine conversations and interactions. A useful feature is the choice of American or British English, and sub-titles, as well. Printable worksheets and transcripts are also available. I found the videos interesting and authentic, and while more appropriate for high school students, they would still appeal to adults. With such a range of material around each reader, they can be used to structure a wide variety of lessons. Besides being used as part of an extensive reading program or Self-Selected Reading, they could easily be used as class readers, and the worksheets completed in class. Having the option of listening to the audio (instead of or as well as reading along in the book) also allows for further skills development, and lends itself to intonation and pronunciation work. The videos also bring more variety into the classroom. Ideas for projects and research based on the readers can be found in the Teacher’s Books, for practitioners who wish to broaden the possibilities beyond typical classroom applications. Since the introduction of an Extensive Reading program at our language centre, I have searched endlessly for non-fiction readers that may appeal to students eighteen years old and over. The Footprint Reading Library comes pretty close. This series offers a complete and unique package that can be used in a variety ways, and is well worth adding to your wish list. Sylvia Cher is a teacher at Deakin University English Language Institute, Victoria. Her report on developing extensive reading skills at beginner level, conducted as part of the English Australia/Cambridge ESOL Action Research in ELICOS program, was recently published in Cambridge ESOL Research Notes.
English Australia Journal 27.2