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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog


Last week seven out of nine English as a Foreign Language (EFL) leveled readers I wrote for Compass Publishing were released on-line. Compass is a Korean publisher. These books represent several ‘firsts’ for me. I had written HI/LO (high interest-low reading level), leveled test passages, and education and library books for set grade levels, but not specifically EFL. This type of book is also ideal for English as a Second Language (ESL). They are written with a restricted word list and to specified Lexile and Flesh-Kincaid numbers, depending on the reading levels.

Of my seven books, five are fiction and two are nonfiction (NF). The publisher decided to release them on-line instead of in print form. (Compass did have some books printed, just not mine which are used in the on-line Reading Oceans program.) I am delighted with the illustrations and layouts. I wish you could look inside, because some of the illustrations, such as A SPELLING STAR IN LOS ANGELES are even better in the interior pages. In the case of STRAVINSKY, I had difficulty getting pictures of the composer the publisher could obtain rights to because one man inherited Stravinsky’s estate. But the editor did a super job of finding other images to compliment my text. (I didn’t post all the covers here because I couldn’t find a widget where I could load my own photos. You can see all the covers on my website under the My Books tab.)

Compass also hired voice actors to read my stories and NF books. This was another surprising first that was fun to listen to. In A SPELLING STAR IN LOS ANGELES a man narrates, but the dialogue of the two characters—Maria Lopez and her mother—are in age-appropriate female voices.

When my dad told me to be a teacher instead of a writer, I doubt he ever thought about how someone had to write the curriculum, supplemental curriculum, library books, and many other educational materials. I know I never realized that one day I would combine my education degree and other degrees and experience to do educational writing, such as EFL readers. After all these years, I still love teaching. And I love that by writing the walls of my classroom has been kicked out and expanded worldwide.

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