Writing_graded_reader.doc - RobWARING Introduction ....

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Writing a Graded Reader Rob WARING Introduction Graded readers are a much misunderstood breed. Most teachers understand that graded readers are  simplified books written at varying levels of difficulty for second language learners. They also know that  graded readers cover a huge range of genres ranging from adaptations of classic works of literature to  original stories, to factual materials such as biographies, reports and so on. Teachers are also aware that  graded readers are written for many different audiences, ages and difficulty levels. However, not all  teachers have a clear idea of their function and how they fit the curriculum and misinformation abounds.  This article is in two parts. The first part discusses what graded readers are and provides many reasons  why they are important in learning foreign languages. This section also reviews many of the issues and  controversies that surround the use of graded readers and suggests that graded readers are an essential part of any curriculum. The second part of this article discusses many of the points that need to be considered  when writing a graded reader. What are graded readers? Before we consider writing a graded reader we have to be clear about what they are, how they are used  and how they are viewed by the end-users. But first we should be clear what a balanced curriculum looks  like because from that perspective we can understand more clearly how graded readers become an  integral part of the curriculum.  Nation (2001) suggests that any language programme needs to ensure that the learners get an adequate  balance between input and output practice, and an appropriate balance of a focus on mastering accuracy  within the language and a focus on building automaticity and fluency. These four elements of input and  output practice, and accuracy and fluency, should also cover all the language skills of reading writing,  listening and speaking. Grammar and vocabulary teaching are examples of language or accuracy focused  input, and doing vocabulary and grammar exercises, pronunciation drills and controlled production  activities are examples of language focused output. By contrast, activities that are focused on the message rather than the language such as free conversation, discussion, essays and email exchanges are examples  of fluency based language output. Reading graded readers and doing extensive listening are examples of  meaning focused input activities where working with the message is more important than attending to  new language. It is this last element – meaning based fluency input practice - which is most commonly 
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern