Suitable for: Secondary Students, Young Adults, Adults
What It Is: The WLE Level 4 Competency Based Reading/Writing Book is a 134-page student text designed to explore "Cross-Cultural Communication." As in the corresponding Grammar and Listening/Speaking books, its ten (10) Chapter titles are:
Beginnings • The Body • Dealing with Problems • Eating & Drinking • Getting Along • Communication • Social Interaction • Home & Family Life • Work & Money • Education
Why You Need It: Cultural norms, attitudes, and regulations are an integral part of everyday life in North America. Printed material on the ten topics listed above offers insights that will help newcomers and long-time residents notice, compare, and cope with what's going on while adapting and moving forward.
What It Does: The text inspires interest in the surrounding world through short stories and cross-cultural anecdotes on topics of practical concern to immigrants and other learners of English. Exercises to improve reading and vocabulary skills insure that the material benefits students in real life. So do writing stimuli--and motivating, cooperative "show-what-you-know" activities.
An Introduction called "The Rules of Culture" offers a short article on Customs & Culture in Reading.
Part One of each chapter starts with illustrations to match with four "Everyday Stories" with choices of summarizing sentences. Then come sections that demonstrate comprehension: readers copy the most general statement of each paragraph, answer questions in order to retell the stories, match details with topics, work with main-idea questions and answers, judge statements as "right" or "wrong," "objective" or "subjective," "stated" vs. "implied," and so on. The Part ends with vocabulary exercises and word games.
Part Two is for "Writing Your Own Story." Students follow guidelines that involve completing sentences, putting info or answering questions in order, considering relevant grammar patterns and rules, correcting errors, editing, revising, and other productive steps. After writing their own accounts and letters on related topics, they get feedback and reaction from others--both in and outside the classroom.
Part Three is called "Practical Reading & Writing" because it's centered around adapted realia that learners are likely to encounter often. They deal with personal papers, cards, and forms; health, market, mail, & personal advertising; emergency medical info; small print; work-related messages; and applications.
Part Four consists of a "Questions & Answers" game. Multiple-choice items stimulate discussion about ten major areas of concern in North American culture. The interaction leads to exchange of ideas, cross-cultural comparisons, and real decision making in practical areas of life.