Recommended ESL books

Oxford Read and Discover Series

Oxford Read and Discover (58 titles)

I am often asked for book recommendations. Sometimes from other English teachers who want new resources. Sometimes from parents who want to buy English books for their children. Sometimes from Adults who want to self study. I am going to do a series of articles on what ESL books I recommend for students who want to practice their reading.

The first series I recommend is Oxford Read and Discover. This is a non-fiction graded reader series aimed at upper elementary school students to middle school. I use it for high school and adults as well. They cover a range of topics in three categories; science and technology; arts and society; and Nature. The series is split into 6 levels. Level 1 is in the A1 band which means it is for beginners. Each book includes a picture dictionary of words used in the book and worksheets to check your understanding of each chapter.

I recommend this series because the books are easy to understand. The sentences are adjusted for the level the book belongs too. Although, Level one is for A1 but there is still a gap for a beginner. Readers do need to be familiar with basic sentence structures and have a basic vocabulary. The topics are often about things the students know a little bit about but add new information that they have not learnt before. Many reader series are story based which can be challenging for students to follow. Non-fiction is easier for students to understand because they can link it to what they know. Most importantly, the books are well designed. The pictures suit the text.

In class I have been giving my students one of these books to read a week starting from level 1. As they read through the books they go up a level. The reason I do this is because it is good reading practice and I know the book series is not too challenging for the students to read.

I order this series through my local book store. Ask the owner how to order. They will request the publisher and the ISBN.

Do you know Australian Football?

It’s not soccer, rugby or Grid iron. It’s arguably better than all three. Certainly a lot more enjoyable to watch anyway. Australian Football is a sport unique to Australia. If you could mix all of the above sports into one you’d have something like AFL. it’s very popular. Most of the professional games have at least 30,000 people attending and that’s considered a small crowd. The big matches have up to 90,000 people. The grand final is always a sell out with over 100,000 people going.  So what is this sport and why is it so popular?

Here is a highlights video from last year’s grand final. While watching I wonder if you can answer the following questions:

What do you need to play?

Where do people play it?

How many people do you need to play it?

How do you play it?

Could you answer the questions? It’s a bit tough, fortunately the Australian Football League made a video to help explain this wonderful sport.

Thank you to AFL for making such an easy to understand video.

I hope you all get to see this game live one day. It’s a really exciting sport to watch. Oh and in case you are wondering. Women also play it. Here is the grand final highlights for the women’s professional league, go Brisbane!

Have you ever heard of Car Curling?

The following is an example of a presentation about an interesting sport.

It includes:

What the sport is, what you need to play, how many people you need to play and how to play it.

After reading you can research about an interesting sport too.

A New Russian Sport

I just learned about a new sport this month. It’s called Car Curling. Do you know it? Have you ever seen Curling before? In curling you push a heavy stone along the ice to get it near the target. Car Curling is the same but you don’t use stones. You use old cars. To play you need a a frozen road or an ice rink, some cars, a driver and some assistants. There are two ways to play. The first way you only need two people in each team, a driver and an assistant. The driver starts the car and drives along the icy road. At the assistant’s signal the driver pulls the handbrake up and guides the car to the target. The second way to play, which you can see below, is where the car engine isn’t used. Lots of assistants push the car until it’s fast enough to slide down the ice towards the target. Both look like fun. It could make for a great winter festival activity.


Presenting and Pausing

Wednesday Adult Class week 4 September 2018

Image result for pause

Pauses in paragraphs:

Focus questions:

What is a pause?

Why do we pause?

When do we pause?

A pause is a short stop while speaking.

It’s usually a moment to take a breath.

The most common time to pause is at the end of the sentence or when there is a comma (a comma is this: ,).

Pauses in Presentations:

Focus question:

What other reason do we pause during presentation?

We pause during presentations to help people understand what you said.

A long pause during your presentation can help people understand you better.

You should do a long pause after a joke, after a very important idea, after a sentence that is difficult to understand.

It gives them a chance to think about what you said. We call this “giving it time to sink in.”

The topic for our presentation this unit is: What are you doing these days?

Image result for what are you doing these days

For example:

Where are you living?

Where are you working?

What are you doing at work?

Where are you studying?

What are you studying?

What are you doing for fun?

Who do you spend time with?