raaders provide learners fo English with accessible materials for extensive
reading. But the use of graded readers is also a key part of the learning
process which leads to the reading of ungraded materials.
vallue of graded reading can be broken down into five main areas: structure
practice, vocabulary practice and extension, discourse presentation,
cultural information and finally the psychological and motivational
we think only of productive structure practice, but comprehensión
practice is also very important. Students should not be confronted with
"untaught" structures, but they should have repeated expousure
to "familiar" and "semi-familiar" structures in
a meaningful context. The learning values derives from the repeated
"decoding" of semi-familiar structures.
PRACTICE AND EXTENSION
same way, most of the vocabulary in a gradesd reader should be familiar.
There will be a few unfamiliar words but the writers/adapters will have
built in plenty of context information so that the reader can deduce
the meaning. The student will not only gain understanding and confidence
through repeated exposure to familiar vocabulary, she/he will have gentle
opportunities to deduce the maning of unfamiliar words through a comprehensible
low level readers the narrative is almost always presented chronologically
in a single narrator's voice. Even here the passage of time is clearly
marked by paragraph and chapter markers. As learners begin to recognise
these discourse markers, these extra signals are no longer used.
of the new Longaman Fiction Series, Andy Hopkins and Jocelyn Potter,
have faced their greatest challenges in the area of cultural comprehnesion.
Reducing the cultural content makes the text less interesting, but nothing
is interesting if you can't understand it. The editors have to find
the appropriate balance between cultural riches and comprehensibility.
benefits of successful graded reading are immense. Reading and enjoying
a book in a foreing language is an achivement in itself, and the pleasure
is an important part of the process. "Reaching the end of book"
with the teacher in control is inevitably less satisfying. Students
who have been given texts which are too long or difficult for independent
reading will ask for simpler, more accessible material. Failure drives
the students towards simpler texts. If you want your students to read
authentic texts without assistance, then start them with graded readers.
there are real linguistic and cultural benefits which derive from the
process of comprehension. This is often dismissed as a "pasive",
"receptive" or "decoding" skill. But active comprehension
is a process of constructing ideas from information in the text and
illustrations ans from our knowledge of the world. Comprehension invloves"making
sense", and it is important that we remember that the reader is