I started writing these Newsletters to keep in touch with the international students who had lived at our house while attending Arizona State University.
A major complaint that was regularly heard from my “low English” Reading students was that “this is boring”. This could be short stories, non-fiction articles, poetry, or practically anything that the students were asked to read. Too often, I had to agree. One day, in desperation, I ran off copies of a couple of my Newsletters, handed them out to the class, and said “ Here, read this”! To my surprise, they not only read them, they asked questions about them, traded them around to read the other copies that were available, and wanted to read more. This was even before they knew that I was the author.
What’s a teacher supposed to do? Simple, take the Newsletters, make regular reading lessons out of them, and start using them in class on a regular basis. They have been a big hit ever since. Many of the students ask me every Monday if I had time to write a new one over the weekend. They want to read the latest, even though they know that they could be getting it sometime in the future as a lesson.
Each Newsletter contains two lessons, with two vocabulary activities, two reading comprehension activities, two "About the Story quizzes, one vocabulary quiz, and one sentence writing activity.