I just got permission to share two book reviews from QATESOL, for Maybe Next Year and Six Stories from Hope Street. Thanks so much to the reviewers, Mary Tibben and Su Murgatroyd, for the time they spent on this – and to QATESOL.
Reviews are so important: they alert teachers and librarians to new materials, or remind them of who might appreciate books already on the shelf.
They can also alert the writer to things they might like to do differently next time, or be an affirmation* that they’re on track. (*OK, you may say an ego boost – but writers invest huge amounts of time in our projects, and we want to know that students find the books helpful.)
“I can thoroughly recommend these resources…”
I’ll post the reviews on the review page, but for now I’ll copy the parts that made me feel I’d achieved what I set out to do.
It’s not always easy to find good, age appropriate, Australian readers for lower level adult ESL learners. That’s why I was excited when I saw the Six Stories from Hope Street resources written by Clare Harris and published by The Book Next Door.
YES! That’s what got me started! (Of course, I know there are some good materials around, but we all want students to have lots of choice…)
I have been using the material [Maybe Next Year] with my class of beginners, who are really enjoying working through it. They appreciate the simple, everyday language, which does not in any way talk down to them. They also relate well to the family whose lives are portrayed through the stories, which provide many opportunities for extended discussion. ‘Very nice book, teacher,’ they tell me regularly.
YES! I do find it a challenge to write for beginners without sounding stilted or simplistic, so I really appreciate those words.
“The only concern I have…”
And the part I might do differently?
The only concern I have with the resource [Maybe Next Year] is with the CD. While it is read with authentic intonation, and good Aussie accents, the pace is really too fast for beginners… However, this is a minor gripe.
Have other people found this? Does MNY need an extra ‘Listen to the teacher reading slowly’ audio version (like Welcome to Hope Street)? All thoughts welcomed…