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PDX Journeys: Studying and Living in the US, Low-Intermediate Novel and Textbook for University ESL Students cover image

PDX Journeys: Studying and Living in the US, Low-Intermediate Novel and Textbook for University ESL Students

(3 reviews)

Amber Bliss Calderón, Portland State University

Pub Date: 2016

Publisher: Portland State University Library

Language: English

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Reviewed by Kristi Kowalski, ESL Instructor, Rogue Community College on 8/15/17

I do not see a glossary or index for this book. However, the units and chapter descriptions are listed at the start of each unit (but no page #s). Students are assigned to look up vocabulary words in the dictionary. The book is comprehensive in... read more


Reviewed by Dave Schenderlein, ESL Faculty, Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon on 6/20/17

This text is an English learner’s level and topic specific workbook. It focuses primarily on vocabulary and reading skills and strategies. It is very good for introducing these ideas and components to high intermediate learners. It introduces and... read more


Reviewed by Joy Egbert, Professor, Washington State University on 4/11/17

All of the exercises are drill-based and the questions, except for those at the start of the chapter that call on students' backgrounds, are close ended. There is no room for creativity, there are no suggestions for going outside of the story. Of... read more


Table of Contents

Unit 1: Academic Expectations

  • Chapter 1: Stephanie's Story
  • Chapter 2: IELP Expectations of Students
  • Chapter 3: The Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad

Unit 2: Problem Solving

  • Chapter 4: Luna and Violeta's Story
  • Chapter 5: Solve That Problem
  • Chapter 6: Easier Said than Done

About the Book

Each unit begins with a chapter of fiction about a teacher and students in one ESL class. Reading comprehension and reading skills exercises follow. Prefix and suffix vocabulary-focus exercises are included. Academic Word List vocabulary exercises help students build a strong foundation in both receptive and productive knowledge. The following chapters in each unit expand on unit themes through non-fiction articles focusing on academic preparation, international experiences, and cultural adjustment. Vocabulary is repeated and comprehension and reading skills are further practiced.

About the Contributors


Amber Bliss Calderón is a Senior Instructor I in the Intensive English Language Program at Portland State University. She earned her MA in TESOL from Portland State University in 2004. Her areas of interest include teaching reading, creative writing, and student experiences. She has developed curriculum for several communication and culture experience programs for the IELP. She enjoys teaching reading and makes it a goal to turn non-readers into readers by making reading a fun and exciting way to learn.