Book club

 
 
Picture of Andrea Poulos
Book club
by Andrea Poulos - Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 2:13 PM
 
Has anyone tried doing an in-class or in-program book club with English language learners?  If so, what level learners?  What books?  Successful/not so much? 
Picture of danielle legault
Re: Book club
by danielle legault - Friday, 4 January 2008, 1:32 PM
 
No, but I would love to do so. How does one deal with students' inconsistent attendance?
Susan WB
Re: Book club
by Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt - Friday, 29 February 2008, 3:43 PM
 

I don't know if I would call it a "book club" exactly, but I do know a teacher who regularly reads a short young adult novel with his intermediate level class.  The book he reads is "The Color of My Words".  The students read both in and out of class, and do a variety of writing exercises in response to the book.  He has had a good response to this activity.  At first, many students are intimidated by the idea of reading a whole book in English, but once they get into it, the story sucks them in and they find themselves reading more than they thought they ever could.  When they finish, there is a real sense of pride.  For some, it's the first "real" book they've ever read in ANY language.  That's a powerful feeling.

I'm not sure of all the details, but I guess I would say he deals with inconsistent attendance by reading during class time; each person picks up where he or she left off.  Then they do small group or pair discussions.

Picture of Nikki Carson-Padilla
Re: Book club
by Nikki Carson-Padilla - Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 4:08 PM
 

Some of our Advanced ESL classes (MLC) complete chapter book units.  At our site I developed a month long unit using The House on Mango Street, which was well-received.  The students first researched a handful of authors of different ethnicities via the Internet (with a teacher-created guide) and as a class voted on which author's work they'd like to explore.  This led us to Sandra Cisernos' novel.  In order to deal with sporadic attendance, we incorporated summary writing skills into the unit so that those who had been present could summarize for those who had missed class; however, attendance was heightened due to the nature of the lessons.  This was most useful for new students, as we have open enrollment.  The students worked on writing reactions to chapters vs. summaries of chapters, expanding their colloquial English, understanding literary forms (esp. similes & metaphors), and proper use of quotation marks to denote spoken words.

I had a student who formerly studied under the teacher Susan W-B mentioned in her post.  She was an Intermediate level ELL.  This student shared her copy of The Color of My Words with me because she loved it so much and wanted me to share her experience.  I was so moved by it, that I do believe it will be our next chapter book endeavor...

Other MLC sites have used Seed Folks in their Advanced classes.

Picture of Natasha Fleischman
Re: Book club
by Natasha Fleischman - Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 10:50 AM
 
My intermediate and advanced teachers are having good luck with book clubs. I've asked them to respond. The libraries have book club packs put together with enough books for the whole class and discussion questions. It's cheaper to choose our selection from that list! For our higher students, we read simple adult novels. They loved the Number One Ladies Detective Agency. With the intermediate students they're using young adult books. I say give it a try!

How're you liking Madison?
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Re: Book club
by sherrie Mahowald - Sunday, 23 March 2008, 9:58 PM
 
I tried "Tiger Rising" by Kate DiCamillo with my level 6 students and they really enjoyed it. Spotty attendance is a problem, but I also found students who were so engaged with the book that they read ahead.
Picture of Nikki Carson-Padilla
Re: Book club
by Nikki Carson-Padilla - Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 4:12 PM
 
In addition to chapter book reading units in ABE ESL classes, I've used "Book Club" for extracurricular work or extra credit at the college level.  My Reading/Writing 202 ESL students at St. Cloud State chose material from different genres each month and we met every other week to discuss what we had read and to choose new material.  It was well-attended.  A few students from other college ESL classes joined us because of high interest.