News & Blog: Tutors


Pearson and Penguin Active Readers Series

Blogger: Katherine Payne (Literacy Coordinator)


With varied topics in both fiction and non-fiction, Pearson and Penguin Active Readers combine short stories, reading activities, and an audiobook into one compact text. Titles range from classic American and British literature to important historical figures and cultural events. Some titles we have stocked in our library are The Secret Garden, Nelson Mandela, The Three Musketeers, and Frankenstein. Each printed reader comes with a CD of the complete audio recording.

Each text begins with pre-reading activities designed to engage a reader’s prior knowledge on the topic, to introduce main characters, and to encourage learners to make simple assumptions about the story. Each chapter has corresponding illustrations to provide context and reinforce a character’s emotions, relationships, or current actions. As many of our workbook series do, these stories highlight new vocabulary and provide definitions at the bottom of each page.

Reading activities continue throughout the story to reinforce main concepts, to practice new vocabulary, and to think ahead about what could happen next in the story. Activity pages are located every few chapters as the story builds. At the end of the story is one large activity meant to sum up the story and to engage a reader’s own impressions and opinions about the text. The reader is put in the place of the characters in some activities, while others aim for the reader to align their own experiences with those found throughout the book.

The books we have in our library are appropriate for learners ranging in level from Low Intermediate to Advanced. Each leveled reader presents these stories in a more accessible way, connecting our learners with widely discussed cultural events and references. Not only are learners reading stories of high-interest to them, they are actively engaging in all four language learning skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

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