BC Reads: Adult Literacy Fundamental English – Course Pack 5
Shantel Ivits, Vancouver Community College
Conditions of Use
The book covers literacy issues normally addressed in freshman year of high school. However, I can attest that addressing an issue is not the same as read more
The book covers literacy issues normally addressed in freshman year of high school. However, I can attest that addressing an issue is not the same as resolving it, witness my own classes of college freshmen. I certainly have had students who need help on this level. The book is comprehensive in its coverage of the more widespread issues arising in usage and composition. I was also struck that all of the readings used for illustration are based on neuroscience. The book almost begs to be considered for writing across the curriculum assignments.
I see nothing inaccurate in the presentation of the material. The author seems culturally impartial; standard English is standard English and errors are errors. It is not in any way belittling or condescending, but it is firm in its insistence that errors must vanish before a draft essay is considered finalized.
Since standard English had no defined expiration date, I expect the book will have considerable longevity. If we subject verb agreement ever becomes optional, I suspect we are facing larger concerns than an individual textbook could resolve.
The book is clear. The price of being clear, of course, is to streamline and simplify. The material and presentation are perfectly suited to the target population of high school students; I fear it may be a little babyish for college students. Still, the clarity of the book is indisputable; anyone reading it who is unable to understand it has much more severe issues than are addressed here. I do note that the text employs the British spelling of -our endings. This may confuse a few American students, but this is a minor difficulty. I appreciate the step by step guidance in structuring an essay (TOWER) and the paragraph planner is helpful for any student.
I noticed no anomalies in terminology or structure. Each chapter/unit contains the same subtopics in the same sequence.
As stated above, the book's modular structure makes it convenient to teach and easy to follow. Of course, this very compartmentalization works against an in-depth examination of some topics. I counted one lesson of sentence fragments and a spelling unit listing only three homophones. Some supplementation by the instructor seems essential.
The organization is consistent and lucid. I have no complaints about its organization.
I found no problems with the navigation or interface.
The book has no issues whatsoever with grammar or usage. It would be almost poignant if it did, no?
I don't think readings about neuroscience have any possibility of being culturally insensitive. We all have brains, right? As to the examples/exercises I found nothing even remotely offensive there.
For a college course, this is clearly a remedial text. I would not assign it to the class as a whole because of its simplicity, but I would definitely import sections on specific grammar topics and paragraph structure into my freshman composition classes.
Table of Contents
- The Most Amazing Structure on Earth
- The Many Faces of Genius
- The Many Pathways to Knowledge
- Boost Your Brainpower
- Memory Magic
- Put to the Test
- The Sixth Sense: Intuition
- The Big Five: Personality
- Secrets of a Happy Brain
About the Book
This course pack is designed to meet the learning outcomes for Adult Literacy Fundamental English Level 5 (roughly equivalent to grades 6 to 7.5 in the K-12 system). Every chapter includes a level-appropriate, high-interest reading of between 500 and 800 words. The readings are freely available in a separate reader with convenient links to the readings in each chapter of this course pack. Font size and line spacing can be adjusted in the online view, and have been enhanced for the print and PDF versions for easier reading. This course pack has been reviewed by subject experts from colleges and universities.
About the Contributors
Shantel Ivits is an instructor in the Basic Education Department at Vancouver Community College, on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
Shantel has designed curricula for the National Film Board of Canada, the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, and many community-based projects.
Over the past decade, they have taught in literacy programs, university bridging programs, an ESL academy, and K-12 public schools.
They hold a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Trent University, as well as a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Arts in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia.
Shantel identifies as a queer and trans person with white settler privilege. Their goal as an educator is to help people build their capacity to reach their goals and create more socially just communities.
Shantel also enjoys raising awareness that “they” can be used as a singular pronoun!