WORD BY WORD
Graded English Readers for Children
Listening, then speaking, then reading and finally… writing
During the past 12 years, I have been working to develop this new series of simplified, illustrated graded readers with the aim of providing a resource for parents and teachers that they could use to enable children to practice reading largely by themselves, needing only minimal help from their parents or teachers.
To do this, I have diligently researched the most frequently used vocabulary and structure used in spoken and written English.
For example, just 25 most commonly used words make up about one-third of all words written or spoken in English. The first 100 most frequently used words make up about one-half of all written and spoken English. By the end of the 12-book Word by Word series, children will have learned the 1,000 most frequently used words which comprise more than 95% of all written and spoken English.
All new words and structures are repeated at least 15 times subsequent to their first appearance in the series. This, together with the phonic emphasis in each book, ensures effective and rapid learning as well as maximum retention and comprehension. It is this very systematic control of vocabulary and structure that makes, I believe, Word by Word graded readers unique.
All the books in the series have been extensively trialed and repeatedly improved over a period of many years and are now proven to be extremely effective in building functional literacy in children of many ages and nationalities, including my own children.
The series consists of 12 books in 4 levels. All the books are attractively illustrated, and the back of each book contains helpful notes for parents and teachers wishing to facilitate the most rapid progression to literacy competence possible.
In order that parents or teachers can try out the series at no cost, I have made the first two books in the series permanently free.
Thanks so much for reading!
Philip Gibson (Author: Word by Word Graded Readers for Children)
Teaching reading to a mixed-age group of children
Helpful Tips for Reading/ Writing for Parents and Children
One helpful tip I give parents and teachers is to encourage them to ensure that, as much as possible, learning takes place in the following order: 1. listening comprehension, 2. speaking, 3. reading, 4. writing. 1 and 2 can be done by looking to see what new words and structure are coming up in the book they are using and weaving those into verbal exchanges with the child/children. Alternatively, you can read the upcoming section to the children so that they hear and comprehend the new words and structures before they read them.
The children can then read the texts aloud and take parts of the characters in the conversations. To ensure aural comprehension before reading comprehension, the questions and answers at the end of each lesson should be practiced orally before they are written down.
In the early books, children can write out the texts and draw the pictures. From Book 3 onwards, writing skills can mostly be practiced by writing out and answering the questions that are provided. In general terms, try to follow the maxim: “Nothing is spoken until it has been heard. Nothing is written until it has been read.”