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AMEP Research Centre

Dinner Time

Dinner Time
by Kaye Grayson, Mary Hill and Jenny Trevino
Published by TAFE Queensland English Language and Literacy Services, 2006

Dinner Time is a good-looking book with clear photographs and large easy to read sentences printed in a user-friendly font. There are generally only one or two lines of text per page which makes it perfect for low level students.

As the teacher of an adult literacy class with several African students in it, I was pleased to see a reader featuring this group of newcomers.

However my enthusiasm was qualified by several misgivings. In terms of the ‘look’, I found the boy’s formal suit and tie outfit for shopping at the market, inappropriate. As for content, I thought the emphasis on hygiene a bit exaggerated (four different coloured chopping boards for different food groups).

I liked Michael’s personality and found his comments typical of a ten-year old boy. His mother Gloria, on the other hand, had nothing to say except ‘Let’s wash our hands before dinner.’ This seems to make the reader more appropriate for children than for adults.

My main reservation with Dinner Timewas the book’s language and structure. It’s not strictly a recount or a habitual activity, but sits awkwardly between the two text types when it could so easily have been one or the other. As it is, Dinner Time would be best used as a supplementary text.

Reviewed by Wendy Mrowka NSW AMES