The READING & DISCUSSION Study-Book

Available by order from Amazon, ¥2,500 (including tax), click here (delivery 2/3 days).

For intermediate/upper intermediate English language students, suitable for teenagers and adults.

For free sample unit (with answer) click below.

Sample of Unit 5     Answer key

Overview

There are 18 units (16 regular and 2 review). One unit takes roughly about 70 to 80 minutes of class-time (excluding the final Writing task). Even though there is a great variety of genres and activities, each unit shares a similar pattern. Click below to find the answer key, photos, and links for each unit.

  1. Aesop
  2. Culture shock
  3. Anne
  4. Platypus
  5. Crusoe
  6. Adjectives
  7. B F G
  8. Gandhi
  9. Review 1
  10. Daddy Long Legs
  11. U S A
  12. Robot
  13. Coincidence
  14. Mowgli
  15. Local food
  16. Tom
  17. Machu Picchu
  18. Review 2

Each unit revolves around a reading text, half are fiction, and half non-fiction, covering a wide range of genres. The non-fiction texts are from classic books, written by famous authors. These texts are usually abridged and simplified in order to meet the constraints of the language classroom.

On every page is a communicative activity, text, exercise, puzzle or quiz, so students are continually engaging and interacting with new language.

New language is introduced systematically, and is blended with recycled language and vocabulary, and there is a gradual progressivity through the book, so the last few units are of a significantly higher level than the first few.

This is a stand-alone study-book, combining both textbook and resource book. There is no teacher’s manual (a concise teacher’s guide is provided below), no supplementary workbook, no media, and no need for photocopying. Just walk into class, and start teaching.

Answer Key, Photos and Links

Answer Key – Click the appropriate unit below to see the answer key for all activities (then hover and click to further isolate each set of answers).

Photos – In addition are a number of photos which can be used to further illustrate some of the texts, authors and activities. Hover and click over a photo to get a larger version, which can easily be projected to a classroom screen, enabling students to gain a deeper insight, and perhaps prompting a little more classroom discussion.

Links – Lastly are some links to other websites which afford much greater detail, both for students and teacher. Many links are for wikipedia pages and, whilst some wiki information needs to be treated with caution, it is a rich source of accessible data. Plus wikipedia has links to multiple languages which may well be of use to students. There are also some links to live webcams from around the world. These can add a ‘real-time flavor’ to the classroom.

  1. Aesop
  2. Culture shock
  3. Anne
  4. Platypus
  5. Crusoe
  6. Adjectives
  7. B F G
  8. Gandhi
  9. Review 1
  10. Daddy Long Legs
  11. U S A
  12. Robot
  13. Coincidence
  14. Mowgli
  15. Local food
  16. Tom
  17. Machu Picchu
  18. Review 2

Teacher Guide

Warm-up – an exercise/puzzle which gently introduces the unit’s theme, often revolving around vocabulary and lexical items which will be encountered through the unit.

Having spent a few seconds considering the title to the unit, students need little instruction on how to complete the Warm-up activity. I find “Warm-up. (Just) do it!” is generally enough. Feedback can be carried out in a conventional manner, nominating random students, or by raised hands. But it can also be conducted by projecting the answer key to a classroom screen from this website. This can save quite a bit of time, as students focus on their individual answers, and frees up the teacher to monitor and offer targeted assistance and explanation.

Background – Background information about the author, or the content (or both) is provided in order students do not enter the main reading text cold and disinterested.

Even though there are no follow-up comprehension questions, this task acts as an extra reading exercise which can form part of the later discussion. It is recommended this section is not rushed, time spent here will pay dividends later.

Reading – The main text around which the unit revolves. Half of the units are fictional, featuring extracts from famous books over a wide variety of genres. Most extracts are abridged (the actual text would be simply too long for a lesson), and slightly simplified.

The overriding aim is always to maintain the style and character of each individual author. The fictional texts and non-fiction alternate through the book. Two of the non-fiction texts have been abridged and simplified (in the same manner as the fiction), and the others are original pieces of writing, especially for this book.

Exercise – A relatively short activity, checking students comprehension, whilst providing time for reflection and consideration of the previous text.

Discussion – A list of talking points centering around the main reading, and the background meaning, and also broadening the discussion to invite students to offer their own experiences and opinions.

It is recommended students be provided a brief time to ponder the talking points, and mentally prepare how to best express their opinions and experiences.

The talking points provided are optional, and teachers can select from the list, and may of course add extra topics with their own ideas.

Puzzle/Quiz – A lighthearted activity after the challenge of the discussion,which has an oblique, and even quirky, association to the unit content.

This changes the mood of the class, and injects a little pace and humor. Again the rubric is short and simple (or non-existent), the students know what to do. I almost always have students in small groups for this activity (often the same group as the preceding information gap). Sometimes smartphones need to be prohibited. Then it’s a race between the groups.

Writing – An optional task for students to follow-up their reading and discussion with a writing activity in a similar vein. This can be covered quickly in about 15/20 minutes, or may be conducted in depth (perhaps with some online research) and may take an hour or more.

Post-writing peer-to-peer reading is recommended, which may well lead to further discussion.

Please leave any comment in the box below. Only a name (or nickname) is required; no need for an email address or website.