As class Readers: the teacher, or the teacher together with the students, chooses a book at the right level for the class, and everyone has a copy to read. Students can do the reading at home or in class, either individually or as shared or group reading.
The advantages of a class Reader are that the whole class reads the same text and so teachers can keep a check on how much reading is being done. The class Reader can naturally form part of a reading syllabus, and acts as a stimulus for class activities. It can be a focus for vocabulary extension work, grammar or pronunciation practice.
It is important that both these ways of using graded Readers should be seen as complementary , not mutually exclusive. Using a class Reader can act as a motivation for students to go to the library and find more books to read on their own. The work done in class on a Reader can help students feel confident about approaching a book of their own choosing.
Do your students read books for pleasure? Unfortunately, reading books for pleasure (in the first language) is not something that everybody does, though other types of reading (newspapers, magazines, Internet, etc) may take place. Even in places where school children do read a lot, especially in the early years of learning to read, once they reach adolescence, there are other activities which start to take up their attention, so that by the time they are adults they may have lost the reading habit.
Although the act of reading is done by each individual on his or her own, in fact reading is firmly rooted within a community.
Many people choose the books they read by looking at the bestsellers lists in newspapers. All of this is evidence of the ‘reading community’ in a particular society. In the same way, the Readers list is evidence of a community of readers learning English.
If you wish to devote a (small) part of each lesson for students to do some reading, you could read aloud a part of each section to your students and ask them to finish the reading at home. Alternatively use the tape (many Readers are available with cassettes or CD’s) while students follow the text in the book. People of all ages enjoy being read to, whether in their native language or in the foreign language. Hearing the words will both help students with their pronunciation (and with the reading process since knowing how words sound is an important factor in reading), and also whet their appetites for more and so increase motivation.
It is not recommended that Readers should be used to teach grammatical structures, since their principal purpose is to provide a good, enjoyable story. But it may be useful in class to look at some aspects of the language in order to help the comprehension process. Vocabulary acquisition is an important by-product of reading, so activities which provide vocabulary practice are useful. It may also be beneficial to use the Reader together with the accompanying tape to practice some aspects of pronunciation.
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Bram Stoker's Dracula is the world's most famous horror story and has inspired many films.
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Frankenstein is probably the most famous horror story of all. Mary Shelley wrote it in 1816 when she was only nineteen years old.
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Amistad is a powerful new film from Steven Spielberg and Dream Works starring Morgan Freeman. It is a true story which will inspire and move you.
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Forrest Gump is also an Oscar-winning film, starring Tom Hanks and Sally Field.