Posts Tagged ‘Graded Readers’

Reading in a foreign language

4 July 2011

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


One of the best activities for summer holidays might be reading novels or short stories. There are lots of interesting Graded Readers, very easy to read.

If you are going to do a little reading, get a dictionary, a ballpen or pencil and a notepad, please. You will find reading a quite exciting experience.

Here you are an excerpt of the famous Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain.




On being nice to them

10 March 2011

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

That title sounds more like “Of mice and men” or pretends to be a rhyme to that. Anyway, I have decided to write that one because the writing below is not mine, in fact, it has been copied from a schoolteacher in the story of her childhood. This is just an excerpt of the note she said she had found in her own teacher´s notepad. It is referred to a very peculiar categorization of pupils.


0. The little mouse doesn´t appear or if he does, always late.

1. Mickey Mouse arrives to the place, moves all the time. Cannot pay attention to one thing or twenty. He laughs and stands up, walks up and down the corridor,talks, shouts,plays. He is not aware of basic notions.

2. Stays in. Knows some tools. Doesn´t talk all the time. Used to be silent. Sometimes he seems to start, but in fact, he doesn´t.

3. Up to stage 3 and more. One day he forgets tools in a different place, maybe home. Perhaps he is not telling the truth and the tools are inside his bag but he knows that in case the instructor notice he will have to work. He is not a responsible mouse.

4. He attends meetings. And he owns some tools. Doesn´t talk if someone else is talking. Self discipline. Quiet and able to listen. Wants to participate. The mouse is aware of the interest in learning new things. Does some work. Not enough work, though.

5. Up to stage 4 and more, but this one understands not easy tasks. He can take notes and, actually, he takes notes. Tries to learn and makes an effort. Enjoys the class. Time passes quickly for him. Reads and writes. Speaks correctly. The instructor and himself get on well

6. Just a little bit better than stage five. More work in class and at home.

7. Mr Mouse manages a lot of tools. Reads anything. Learns plenty of matters and starts questioning what he wants to learn  to know something. Shows curiosity for almost everything there.

8. Instructors trust in this kind and those in stages 9 and 10.

9 and 10 are very close to number 8 class.



[Eunice A. Fritz .- Stories from my childhood (Princeton Press. USA, 1967)]


Graded Reader sheet, instructions for students

13 January 2011

It is a curious thing but that is a fact

12 June 2010

(Fotografía: Vicente Vicéns. LAVERDAD, 12.06.2010)

You know, when you ask a student to do something in a very specific way-i.e, you are asking in a graded reader test for short answers-then most of them will write a lot more than expected. We were reading together a good story and some students showed the teacher in the written test that they had read the book in detail. Let me show an example: one question was “Do you think Anne-Anne of Green Gables- was a quiet girl?. Say why or why not, in a few words.”

The good readers replied “No, she wasn´t. She talked a lot because she was very happy in her new family. She was a good girl for the Cuthberts”. They loved the reading activity. Students were from 4 ESO -Year 11-. They were around 15/16 year olds.

Another question dealt is translation. The students had to translate a short extract from the book printed in the test. The most worrying thing is the blank spaces they left because those meant that the task has not been completed. And that counts negatively. Another problem with translation is the every-word-translators who translate every little word in the text making the understanding of their work a dull activity. To finish, some of these students insert French words and that is definitely terrible.

The best actress I have ever seen

18 May 2010

She is a child. She talks and talks non-stop. This baby is a pure child with red hair, two plaits and lots of freckles on her face. In a small village she meets her adoptive father at the railway station. And there she comes up with her never ending monologue. Matthew, her future dad is listening to her while the painter is painting new the well-known flowers along the road. The actress communicates with the flying birds on the way home, she makes the trees smile three and four times. Because she is a little child who lives like an actress.

The excellent pupil reminds me of Liza Simpson today. This little woman with her long dresses and her gracious feet. This little princess with her eyes flooded in imagination. Oh, Anne and her ethical dramas.

She is always overworried about passionate feelings, dilemmas and justice.

The story I am evoking now is Anne of Green Gables and it was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. My students and I have been reading this awesome story at school for weeks as a obligatory book of the third term.

Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley or Cordelia-as she would love to be called- (a touch of Shakespeare´s KING LEAR) is the daughter that one sensitive father cares for.

Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables. Oxford Bookworms. Stage 2.

Series editor: Jennifer Basset. ISBN 0-19-422725-1

A Foreigner in Australia de Fiona Smith

28 April 2010

La lectura graduada para un curso de 1º de Bachillerato este tercer trimestre es esta:  A Foreigner in Australia de Fiona Smith. Desde hace unos años leemos libros de lectura graduada o Graded Readers en clase y fuera de clase, al menos, esa es la intención. Este año por primera vez se han recomendado 2 lecturas en inglés a cada curso. La primera lectura comenzó en el trimestre anterior, con un nivel inferior al propio del grupo para aumentar la facilidad y agilidad lectora. Antes de ese segundo trimestre dedicamos un día por semana a ejercicios de traducción con diccionario.

De ese primer paso en el primer trimestre a este otro paso de la lectura de un texto largo y adecuado al nivel de 1º de Bachillerato han pasado semanas de trabajo.

Aunque los alumnos desconocen mi trabajo en este libro como colaborador y revisor para Burlington Books por primera vez- y espero que haya muchas más colaboraciones-, puedo decir y escribir aquí que guardo este  ”scanner” de esa página 2 con mucho orgullo y mucha humildad también.

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