Kevin T. Patton and
Gary A. Thibodeau
Insights from the authors . . .
"oh, I didn't read the book!"
How many times have we heard that?!
Many professors, including me, recognize that an increasing number of students who come to us have problems with reading. And often that means that they simply give up and do not read.
Sometimes the issue is a learning disability, sometimes it is poor preparation, often it's because students who previously would not have even tried to go to college are now finding opportunities and reasons to do so, sometimes English is not a student's first language, and well, the list goes on.
No matter the reason, it seems helpful to provide students with a textbook that features characteristics that engage and support readers of all levels.
Over many years, I've consulted with reading teachers, ESL instructors, students who come to me with reading problems, and a variety of learning experts, in an effort to find what we can do with our textbook to enable it to serve readers at all levels.
Here are a few of the things we've done to make our textbook accessible to all readers. Click the hyperlinks to find out more.
- Headings are bold and descriptive, to provide visual organizers of complex information.
- Chapters are shorter, to create more compact readings that do not overwhelm the reader. Chapter organization promotes building mastery in logical, manageable steps.
- Paragraphs are shorter than in other textbooks, to make the reading process flow more easily.
- Sentences are conversational in style rather than constructed like sentences in encyclopedias or journal articles, as we see in some other textbooks. This engages readers.
- Key terms are listed separately in words lists and also boldface in the text, so that students can learn the language before engaging the reading.
- Pronunciation guides for difficult terms are provided in the text and online to help with familiarity with language.
- Creative paging puts textual descriptions of figures and tables near the item, so that readers don't have to flip back and forth through pages frequently as they read.
- Each chapter ends with an Chapter Summary that lists key concepts in a visually organized outline to provide a visual organizer that helps solidify comprehension of the chapter just read.
- Audio summaries of each chapter help to preview and review chapter contents. Audio files are available at the Evolve site.
- Quick Check reading comprehension questions at the end of each major section help students stop and confirm the basic concepts they've just read about.
- At the end of each chapter, Review Questions encourage readers to review the main concepts they read about in the chapter. Like the Quick Check items, the Review Questions focus on the lower range of Bloom's Taxonomy.
- Critical Thinking Questions follow the Review Questions and encourage readers to evaluate and apply the material, working in the upper range of Bloom's Taxonomy.
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