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 Dancing with Strangers | Stories from Africa

Blogger: Queyonna Hunt (Literacy Coordinator)

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Today we will be examining a stage three book from Oxford Publishing’s award-winning series, Dancing with Strangers: Stories from Africa.

The series has a worldwide reputation for providing learners with an enriching reading experience. The book includes four narrations, a CD for following along, before and after reading activities, and a glossary for vocabulary building.

The four stories presented in the book take readers on rich journeys through vibrant settings with relatable characters. From inside a bar within the bustling streets city of Johannesburg to an uncomfortable seat on a plane back to South Africa; to a dance floor in Tanzania then off to Uganda to read about two strangers brought together by accidents of war. These stories were written by African natives M.G. Vassanji, Jackee Budesta Batanda, Jack Cope, and Mandla Langa, who give an authentic insight into a vast, diverse culture.

The book offers more than just stories; it provides activities that stimulate discussion before and after diving into the reading. The difficulty of the text and exercises directly correspond to the level of the learner. At stage three, Dancing with Strangers: Stories from Africa includes English grammar of present perfect continuous (should/may), past perfect, causatives, relative clauses, and indirect statements.

Some of the benefits of using this book as a supplementary reading are the accessibility of the audio-book, which can be used to build listening comprehension. Also, the reader gains valuable cultural knowledge. There is also a glossary that includes not only scholastic definitions but explanations for the colloquial phrases some of the characters use.

Please take a moment to stop by our tutor library at the Literacy Center to check out stages 1-3 of the series.


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