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Recommendations for High School ESL Literature Textbooks

 
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tadpaul



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:49 am    Post subject: Recommendations for High School ESL Literature Textbooks Reply with quote

[Note: I originally posted this in the "Literature" section, but thought I'd post it again here since it applies as much to Sec. School Ed. If this double-posting isn't kosher, then I'm truly sorry, and I'll delete it from this section if asked.]

Hi everyone,

I just signed up to these boards in order to ask this question, but, looking around the place, I can see that a lot of great ESL conversations are happening here, and I look forward to participating in many of them.

Anyway, I'm currently teaching ESL at a private high school in the SF Bay Area, and I'm scheduled to begin teaching a literature class that'll start at the end of August. (I'm also teaching Grammar, U.S. History, and Writing and Speaking, but I have plenty planned for these classes.) My problem is that there don't seem to be any quality literature textbooks out there. I'd love a couple textbooks (one for beginners, one for intermediate/advanced) that are appropriate for ESL students' abilities while also matching their interest level (in other words, nothing that's obviously children's lit). I have found the Discovering Fiction series, and those books are great, but there are only three of them, and I can imagine running through them very quickly.

Sorry to go on so long here, but can anyone recommend some good textbooks for this class? I've Googled for hours and asked fellow teachers and plowed through bookstores -- and nothing I've found is quite good enough. My students are incredible, hard-working kids (whose families pay some steep tuition), and they deserve a lit class that both improves their reading skills and enriches their understanding.

Thanks so much.
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Donnetta



Joined: 07 May 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mentioned that you are in need of a literature textbook to use while teaching ESL on the high school level. What you did not mention was the proficiency level of the students you are teaching. And proficiency level along with age is one of the two major contextual variables in learning and teaching context. If your students are at the beginner level of proficiency, theory has it that literature would not be part of their reading repetoire. You would want to focus on brief yet real-life written material like advertisements, forms, recipes, and simple notes and letters. On the intermediate level, students can begin to read paragraphs and short, simple stories and begin to use skimming and scanning skills. On the advanced proficiency level, reading progresses closer and closer to native-speaker competence and learn things like critical reading. So without knowledge of the proficiecy level of your high school students it is very difficult to make a textbook selection. However, Pearson-Longman does have an excellent high school textbook series for ESL students called "Shining Star". It actually has literature readings in the Introductory Level text of this 5 level series that uses authentic literature for beginner high to advanced level students. The website says "This program is based on systematic development of reading and writing skills as well as learning strategies. English learners will read a wide variety of thematically linked readings, including both content readings and literature selections, as well as poems and songs. Using these readings, students will learn the skills they need to transition successfully into a mainstream curriculum." The series "provides your students with a balanced approach to learning English through literature selections and expository readings from other content areas." Furthermore, Shining Star has "classic and contemporary literature [that]opens your classroom to lives and cultures across time and space. Expository Content readings give students opportunities to acquire content area vocabulary and at the same time develop understanding and insight into the world around them. [and it] provides the skills and strategies students need to be successful in the mainstream classroom." No, I am not a textbook salesperson. I am an actual ESL teacher who has used this series at the high school level and the middle school level in two different districts. I love it because it is not ESL English in isolation, but authentic literature that crosses all content areas which is what the WIDA ACCESS test measures...English for all the content area.
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