Reading and Vocabulary Textbook Review

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Two Reading and Vocab Textbooks

Thoughts & Notionsand Cause & Effect are designed for adult ESL/EFL learners to work on reading and vocabulary skills. There are also some optional writing exercises which can be useful in assigning students for homework.

How I Used These ESL Textbooks

These reading and vocabulary textbooks were used in an intensive, 2 week winter camp at my university. Overall, I was impressed with them and I would use them again in a university or high school setting without any hesitation if the goal is to improve reading skills or aid in vocabulary acquisition.

However, if the focus of your class is speaking, you probably couldn’t find a worse book, so put that out of your mind right now!

What I Liked

I think they really did expand the active vocabulary of my students in an interesting and engaging kind of way. It was also easy to use them to work on different reading skills, such as skimming/scanning or reading for detail.

The students, despite working with these books for 3 hours every day, for 10 days in a row, didn’t appear that bored at the end, mostly because the stories were quite engaging, such that I even wanted to read them! Cause & Effect particularly had a very high degree of variety in the practice exercises to keep it interesting.

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What I Didn’t Like

The only drawback that I can really think of is that the end of these books is significantly harder than the beginning, particularly Thoughts & Notions. While this is okay for a class that happens over a semester, it didn’t really work that well in an intensive camp setting because the students didn’t really have time to master the material between sessions and were struggling at the end.

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What do you think?

What are your thoughts about Cause & Effect, and Thoughts & Notions? leave a comment below and let us know.

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