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AMEP Research Centre

A New Hairstyle-Start to Read Series

A New Hairstyle - Start to Read Series
by Sheila Duke
Published by NSW AMES, 2006

A New Hairstyle is one pack in the Start to Read Series by Sheila Duke and produced by NSW AMES. It is aimed at CSWE Preliminary and CSWE Level 1. It is based on a simple reader and comes as a beautifully presented kit. Inside the kit is one reader, a CD which has the reader with sound, a set of clear laminated pictures used in the reader, a set of laminated sentences and a set of laminated words. The kit also includes a set of 12 photocopiable handouts with exercises based around the reader. These are at various levels. The material would be suitable for a literacy class as well as for an ESL class.

I have trialed the material with a level one ESL class with good literacy skills but poor oracy. The students loved it. Initially I used the pictures to build vocabulary and predict the story. Then I read the sentences and the students found the pictures and put them in order. Then I gave the students the sentences and they put them with the pictures.

The next day I distributed the sentences to half the class and the pictures to the other half and the students had to read their sentences and find the person who had the picture to go with their sentence. We used the laminated sight words and strip sentences to practise pronunciation.  The students did a number of worksheets.

Finally, we wrote the story on the board as a recount CSWE Module G LO 2: Can write short recount, then I typed up the recount and we did it as a practice test for Module G LO 1: Can read a short recount or narrative.  I have also linked it to Module A LO 3: Can locate information in an alphabetical index and using the phone book to find a hairdresser's phone number and Module C LO 1: Can participate in a short spoken transactional exchange for students to practise making an appointment.

The book and the accompanying kit could also be used as a starting point for discussion among teachers at any in service. This discussion should allow teachers to collaboratively consider how to create more supplementary learning activities.

A New Hairstyle is a simple well-presented kit which can be used in lots of ways.

Reviewed by Vicki Hambling, Northern AMEP Consortium, NMIT, Victoria