English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language

ESL 262 Low-Advanced Reading

 Updated 8/10/2015

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Title: Focus on Vocabulary 2: Mastering the Academic Word List, 2nd ed.

Author: Diane Schmitt and Norbert Schmitt

ISBN-13:  978-0-13137617-5

Publisher: Pearson, 2011.

This excellent text can be used as a reading text with an AWL focus. Each unit includes a reading from college texts, reading comprehension, a reading strategy, vocabulary exercises (including meaning, parts of speech and collocations) and discussion. Vocabulary is recycled throughout. Includes dictionary strategies at end of every four chapters. Text is too long for 12-week quarter as usual, but recommend your diligent students to complete the book and they will have learned all 570 word families in the AWL. Must supplement with paraphrasing and summary writing skills.

Title: Inside Reading 3, 2nd ed.

Author: Rubin, Bruce

ISBN-10: 978-0-19-441629-0

Publisher: Oxford, 2012.

Similar to Focus on Vocabulary, this excellent book is based on AWL. Each unit includes 2 academic readings (students find them interesting but very challenging), short reading comprehension, a reading strategy, and vocabulary exercises. Vocabulary is recycled throughout. Must supplement with more paraphrasing and summary writing skills.

Title: Longman Academic Reading Series 4

Authors: Cohen, Robert F. and Judy L. Miller

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-276061-4

Publisher: Pearson, 2014.

Another excellent reading book based on AWL. The readings are from a variety of sources and genres, and the book teaches all the reading and vocabulary building skills required by the course outline, plus critical thinking, synthesizing, and some grammar. However, summarizing skills need to be supplemented. The only drawback is that the readings are quite short.

Title: Topics for Today 5 (Reading for Today Series), 4th ed.

Author: Smith, Lorraine C. and Nancy Nici and Mare

ISBN-13: 978-1-111-03304-0

Publisher: Heinle Cengage Learning, 2011.

Has appropriate readings but no opinion pieces. Each chapter has 2 readings that offer different perspectives on a given topic. Good reading analysis exercises. Must supplement summarizing skills. Vocabulary selection also is not always the best. Does include some words from the AWL but not many vocabulary building exercises

Title: Reading Explorer 5, 2nd ed.

Author: Douglas, Nancy and David Bohlke

ISBN-13: 978-1-285-84704-7

Publisher: National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning

The readings seem quite engaging (based social and physical sciences), the reading level and the length of the articles are appropriate.  Each unit contains exercises for reading comprehension, reading skills and vocabulary practice (vocab in context). It teaches some reading strategies, e.g. skimming, scanning, predicting, using graphic organizers. The photos are stunning. On the other hand, all the readings are nonfiction articles, has no opinion pieces. Does not teach summarizing, paraphrasing, annotating or outlining. The vocabulary exercises are always the same (vocab in context), do not teach how to determine appropriate definition from the dictionary, connotative meanings, synonyms, roots/affixes (just a little). Not based on AWL.
Must supplement it with lessons on summarizing and paraphrasing, annotating, and vocabulary skills.

Title: Advanced Reading Power

Author: Mikulecky, Beatrice S. and Linda Jeffries

ISBN-13: 9780131990272

Publisher: Pearson Longman


Title: Q: Skills for Success 5 Reading & Writing

Author: Caplan, Nigel A. and Scott Roy Douglas and 

ISBN-13: 978-0-19-475642-6

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 

An excellent book with great reading comprehension exercises. Readings may be a bit challenging for students.



Title: Like Water for Chocolate

Author: Esquivel, Laura

Title: A Companion Text for Like Water for Chocolate

Author: Giannotti, Janet Marie

ISBN-13: 9780472085965

Publisher: University of Michigan Press


Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins


Title: Farewell to Manzanar

Author: Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston


Title: Flowers for Algernon

Author: Keyes, Daniel


Title: A Thousand Pieces of Gold

Author: McCunn, Ruthanne Lum


Title: Nectar in a Sieve

Author: Markandaya, Kamala


Title: I Heard the Owl Call My Name

Author: Craven, Margaret


Title: To Destroy You is No Loss

Author: Criddle, JoAn


Title: Two Years in the Melting Pot

Author: Liu, Zongren


Title: Rebecca

Author: du Maurier, Daphne


Title: Ghostway

Author: Hillerman, Tony


Title: Botchan

Author: Soseki, Nastume


Title: Call Me the Canyon

Author: Creel, Ann Howard


Title: Flash Point

Author: Collard, Sneed B.


Title: The Highest Tide

Author: Lynch, Jim


Title: Siberia

Author: Halam, Ann


Title: Into the Forest

Author: Hegland, Jean




Inside Reading 4 - too difficult, moved to 272

Rethinking America 3 - too old, content too outdated

Northstar 5 R/W – not enough on reading

For Your Information 4 – too simple

Mosaic Reading 2 – too simple, not enough vocab practice

Quest 3 R/W – not enough on reading

New Password 5 – too simple

Making Connections Intermediate - simple sentences, not complex enough

English as a Second Language Contact: Craig Norman
Phone: 408.864.5325


Last Updated: 8/10/15