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September 07, 2009

One-Stop Resource

Ever look for a single resource that seems to hold almost everything a teacher might need? I just ran into a book that seems to cover every detail of language learning and teaching. At over 500 oversized pages...

...it should. And it does.

The book is published by Jossey-Bass and is titled The Reading Teacher's Book of Lists complied by Edward Fry and Jacqueline Kress.

The edition I have is the 5th, but older editions are available.

The intended audience of this book is the reading teacher of grades K-12, but it looks immensely useful for ESL teachers at any level.

Here is a quick overview of what you can find inside these pages;

The first chapter spends almost 50 pages exploring and explaining phonics.

I have to admit that I learned phonics at an early age, and because many of my peers did not, I far excelled them when it came to reading speed and comprehension. I am convinced that any ESL learner would be well-served with a foundation in phonics.

Chapter two has a focus on useful words - including homophones, easily confused words, collective nouns, nonreversible word pairings and mass (uncountable) nouns.

Chapter three is on vocabulary building with an emphasis on synonyms, homonyms, Greek and Latin word roots as well as a section on words adapted and absorbed from a multitude of other languages. You will also see a section on words with multiple (and sometimes contradictory) meanings, oxymorons and of course, sesquipedalian superstars.

Other chapters cover fluency, study skills, assessment, parts of speech and almost anything else a teacher could need.

One chapter that I have found to be particularly useful is the section on spelling. Within this chapter, you will find guidelines on the notorious spelling demons - those words that seem to go out of their way to confuse us. In this chapter you will also see helpful sections on contractions, compound words, pronunciation and a quick survey of common abbreviations.

And don't miss the chapter on word p[lay at the end of the book. Here you can find anagrams, palindromes, riddles, tongue twisters ( I have found tongue twisters extremely useful to get a class, as a group, to speak out loud using difficult and fun new words).

There is far more than I can describe here, but I want ot emphasize that this book is accessible, useful and will probably save you a lot of time and headaches.

Know of any other resources we should all know about?

Lets us know and we will tell the world!

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together. We can learn as much from the past as from the present.

Let me know what it is about our world that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at September 7, 2009 01:17 PM

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