Friday, May 11, 2012

Accomplishments of Our Intermediate Reading Class

The Intermediate Reading class of the Loyola Intensive English Program, taught by LIEP instructor Karen Greenstone, can be very proud of our accomplishments this semester. We read widely and became more fluent readers in English.


We expanded our reading ability in English by reading two or more individually chosen books for pleasure over the course of the semester. Choices included unabridged versions of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum, and The Baby Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin, as well as abridged versions of  other novels and non-fiction books.
An array of pleasure reading books
We read our pleasure books, kept thoughtful reading journals, and discussed our books with our instructor and occasionally in class.


A well-worn copy of More Reading Power 3
In class, we worked on reading skills, using More Reading Power 3, 3rd edition, by Linda Jeffries and Beatrice S. Mikulecky from Pearson Longman, as well as an occasional current newspaper or magazine article

  • We scanned articles to find specific facts very quickly.
  • We skimming articles to get a quick view of their ideas and usefulness.
  • We identified organizational patterns, main ideas, and supporting details.
  • We read between the lines to understand what is implied but not stated.
  • We summarized and outlined.
  • We learned which words to guess at and which words to look up.
  • We found ways to practice and retain new vocabulary.
  • We improved our reading speed and comprehension, and we made decisions about when to read quickly and when to read slowly.


We worked diligently on increasing the ability to read more quickly with good comprehension so that reading becomes more enjoyable. More Reading Power 3 helped us with this by provided several series of 600-word articles on the same subject. We timed ourselves reading these and answered comprehension questions, getting faster and more accurate over the course of the semester.

The film Houdini stars Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh
In the first half of the semester, we focused on the fascinating life of Ehrich Weiss, who became the great magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini. We followed Houdini, beginning with his immigration to the United States from Hungary with his parents, through his years as a hard-working stage magician and then his success as a well-known and thrilling escape artist, to his death of sudden appendicitis. After completing the story of Houdini, we gave ourselves the treat of watching the 1953 film Houdini with Tony Curtis as Houdini and Janet Leigh as Houdini's wife, Bess. The film brings to life some of Houdini's most spectacular escape feats.

The film Black Beauty shows a life of work
from the point of view of a horse
Our focus in the second half of the semester was on reading about interesting and unusual work. We read about dog sitting in New York City, street performing in Paris, butterfly farming in Kenya, beautifying fingernails and toenails in the United States, and other interesting occupations. Our treat after these work-related readings was to watch the 1994 film Black Beauty, about the work life of a horse and his humans.

Congratulations to the students of the LIEP Intermediate Reading class for these accomplishments in becoming more fluent readers in English this semester!

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