Review Blog

Aug 11 2014

Teenagers and Reading edited by Jacqueline Manuel and Sue Brindley

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AATE Interface Series. Wakefield Press, 2012. ISBN: 9781743050972.
(Teacher reference) Themes: English Teaching (Professional reading); Reading. This book includes a collection of well-researched papers about Reading, and particularly Reading by Teenagers within the context of education. This is an excellent Professional resource for English Teachers who are trying to promote good Reading and Teaching strategies to improve reading skills in their students. There are many practical examples of strategies to employ to improve success for all in their classes. The strong emphasis in the papers is on the need to engage students in independent reading for pleasure or to enable them to rise above the tyranny of the English set text.
A number of the papers make a strong case for creating time in the English program for self-selected reading (as distinct from Teacher-selections linked to writing tasks.) The evidence for the success of this strategy could be useful for justifying this programming within the School timetable.
My personal favourite article is: Really teaching reading: Revisiting a MyRead strategy in a Secondary English classroom, by Rita van Haren and Janette Vervoorn. This revisiting of a 2002 Professional development resource gives wonderful examples of how English teachers can both model/teach successful reading strategies and release their students to display their comprehension in accessible ways that can be successful for all readers in a class, regardless of their perceived 'reading skill'. The examples of student responses to a complex text reveal the success of the strategies employed.
Librarians could recommend this book for English Teachers Professional Reading as it is both professionally enriching as well as containing practical advice for teaching practice.
Carolyn Hull

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