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Work/Life English

H-01.01b Get Succinctly into the Subject Matter with a Small-Format Book.

H-01.01b Get Succinctly into the Subject Matter with a Small-Format Book.

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Introducing a compact and condensed version of the full biographical resource. This condensed guide provides teachers and learners with an overview of the key concepts and methods behind using biographical material for language and content instruction.

Key Features:

  • 44 pages of condensed content and practice.
  • Compact guidelines for language and content instruction.
  • Sample short biographies for different proficiency levels.
  • Comprehension items for assessment and practice.
  • Learner-centered activities for engagement and interaction.


44 pages

Who They're For:

Teachers & Learners of Any Age or Ability Wanting Compact Guidelines + Practice in (Language & Content) Instruction Based on Biographical Material.

Why You Need It: 

Already convinced of the viability of Famous-Figure Biographies to motivate & advance Language & Subject Matter Education? This compressed “Summary”—containing about 1/5 the material of the full-sized 152-page volume—may be all you need or want. 

What You’ll / They’ll Do:  

[1] With the cover of the small-format “Starter Book,” Biographies: Short, Short Stories Based on “Messages” of People’s Lives, review its purposes. These are stated as follows: “Use these engaging, effective ideas to teach or learn Reading Skills & Strategies; to practice & test Listening Comprehension; to provide Writing Practice based on Models, & much more.”

[2] Peruse and get what you need from its Table of Contents & Introduction—and its Articles on “Sources of Biographical Material,” “Simplifying or Adapting,” “Getting Main Ideas,” “Recognizing Important Supporting Information,” and “The Subjects of Biographies.”

[3] From its 26 pages of (sample) “Short, Short Biographies for the Language-Skills Classroom,” excerpt any number of quarter-page Beginning-Level Readings 1-10 (pages 9-13) / Low-Intermediate Readings 11-20 (pages 14-18)  and/or half-page High-Intermediate selections 21-30 (pages 19-28).  Prepare to make use of these on screen or printed out—(in the case of Bios 1-20, cut apart &) pasted up on card stock.

[4] On page 29, read and understand how to “Test Reading Skills with (Worksheets for)  Short Biographical Readings.” From pages 30–35, extract (& reproduce) as many “Comprehension Items” as correspond to the Biographies 1-30 that you’ll be using for teaching / learning.  To assess what they have learned and/or want to go over again,   readers / learners can respond to these cooperatively or independently.

[5] On pages 36-43 are suggestions for “Generic Learner-Centered Activities” that have proven efficacious in linguistic Content & Culture instruction centered on “Short Biographies with a Message.” These are: “Reading-Card ‘Kits’,” “The ‘Expert Game’.” “Oral Informational Contests” (“Placing People in History,” Bio-Categories,” “Chain of Facts”), “Biography Quiz Games,” “Research Picture Cues,” and “Writing Class Bios.” They comprise a more-than-sufficient collection of effective & efficient pedagogical tools for optimizing use of (historical, sociological, psychological) biographical material.

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