BC Reads: Adult Literacy Fundamental English - Reader 5

August 10, 2015 | Updated: May 9, 2019
Author: Shantel Ivits, Vancouver Community College

This reader contains nine original stories written specifically for adults, and is designed to accompany the BC Reads: Adult Literacy Fundamental English - Course Pack 5. This level 5 reader, one of a series of six readers, is roughly equivalent to grades 6 to 7.5 in the K-12 system. New vocabulary are set in bold throughout each story, and then summarized and defined in a Glossary found in the appendix. 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 reader has been reviewed by subject experts from colleges and universities.

Subject Areas
Adult Basic Education, English

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textbook cover image
Brain lobes (https://www.flickr.com/photos/125992663@N02/14599057004) by Allan Ajifo (https://www.flickr.com/photos/125992663@N02/) is used under a CC-BY 2.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

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BC Reads: Adult Literacy Fundamental English - Reader 5 by Shantel Ivits, Vancouver Community College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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Reviews (3) Avg: 4.8 / 5

L.Smith

Institution:College of the RockiesTitle/Position: ABE InstructorCreative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The reader contains nine stories based on the human brain. They are written specifically for adults at Adult Literacy Fundamental English (ALFE) level 5, and the words in the stories are level appropriate. New vocabulary is bolded throughout each story making reference to those taught in the accompanying course pack. They are also found in the glossary in appendix 1 of the reader for further reinforcement. If I were to use the reader as a standalone, I would make students aware of the glossary in the appendix of the reader. There is an effective table of contents at the beginning of the reader and a glossary at the end.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Reader 5 includes nine stories used to explore the complexity of the human brain as well as some ways to help “boost your brainpower”. The content is relevant to adult literacy learners and is error-free and unbiased.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

The contents cover topics that are relevant to adult literacy learners. New contents around the reader’s theme could easily be adapted or added to.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

The text is written in plain language and at an appropriate level for the ALFE level 5 student. The pictures support the context of each story.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The reader is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Each story is written independently; therefore, the reader can easily be divided into nine separate stories that could be assigned at different times in the course.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

The reader contains nine stories based on the human brain and ways to help “boost your brainpower”. The stories include: 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, and Secrets of a Happy Brain. Though the stories in the reader are independent of each other, they are presented in a logical and clear fashion.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

The font size and pictures in Reader 5 (print version) are appropriate for adult literacy students at this level. The font size and line spacing in the online view can be adjusted if needed.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

I did not notice any grammatical errors in this reader.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The reader is not culturally insensitive or offensive.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

The author has done a remarkable job making sure the reader and supplementary course pack work well together. The combination of the reader and course pack meet all of the BC ALFE provincial level 5 articulation outcomes.
The review of Reader 5 is based on the print version printed by SFU Document Solutions and not the online version.

Hong (Ashley) Nguyen

Institution:Langara CollegeTitle/Position: EAP InstructtorCreative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The text covers a wide range topics that are interesting and relevant to the subject of the brain from scientific descriptions of cerebral evolution, make-up and function to examples of brain power and strategies to optimize it. The table of contents at the beginning is clear. The glossary of bolded words at the end provides different word forms as well as simple and effective definitions.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Diagrams and images are vivid, labelled and pertinent to the stories. Reference to the accompanying course pack (as well as one useful website suggested for further learning for the second story) was made at the end of each story . It would have been nice to see more recommendations for supplementary material such as the website. Information was accurate and unbiased. A glossary of new vocabulary is provided at the end of the book; however, the word 'creature' in the glossary is not bolded in paragraph 1 on page 2, and the last 2 letters of "independently" in paragraph 2 on page 20 are not bolded in the text.

Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

The text contains current scientific descriptions, stories of people and experiences that are recognizable and relatable, and subject matter that is relevant to the adult learner. Information is drawn from overall up-to-date sources. Dates and names/examples are written in a manner that can easily be updated in the future.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

The text is written in simple and complex sentences using a variety of clauses. Vocabulary is level-appropriate and some context clues are provided throughout, although more context could have been provided for the readers to practice strategies to access meaning.

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

Terminology and framework are internally consistent with the text.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

This reader contains 9 distinct articles and stories with 3 articles being organized into manageable subtopics using clear subheadings. All chapters of the text can be used independently as part of subunits or combined under one main topic.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

The 9 chapters in this reader are organized logically in that it begins with an introduction to brain evolution and follows with definitions and types of intelligence, strategies to actualize brain power, real-life stories of people's cerebral abilities, personality categories and habits of happy people. Titles and subheadings are clearly bolded, and topics are separate from one another. Some stories make use of transitions to help readers parse information, although more transitions in the text would be beneficial.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

Images and font size are easy to see/read in print and online versions. There is good amount of white space to balance out visuals and text. Page numbers can be larger.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

This reader has no grammatical or spelling errors.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

This reader does not include insensitive or offensive language. It includes stories of both men and women as well as pictures of people of different ethnicities and occupations.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

This level 5 reader contains stories and articles about a fascinating subject that adult learners can relate to. It encompasses a diverse range of topics that can stimulate thoughtful student reflections in discussions and writing. Used with the corresponding coursepack, this reader would be an effective and engaging tool to reinforce core literacy skills in this level.

Claire Anderson

Institution:Douglas CollegeTitle/Position: College Instructor, English, English for Academic Purposes, and Student SuccessCreative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The text has excellent coverage of content with a good variety of topics on the same subject and a good logical flow from origin/biological stories of the brain to features of the mind and strategies for mind health.

Glossary is very adequate and comprehensive though I might have selected vocab words for glossary a bit differently.

For example some words I might omit from the glossary: million, billion, capable, measured, calories, fluid, exercise, constantly, enough, ordered, unusually, negative, positive, immediate

Words I would add to the glossary instead: mysterious, illusion, user guide, define, just above, wacky, struggling, scanning, predict, warm up, intuition, lends itself, extroverted, depression, spirituality, wonder, existence, worship

Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Defintely content, diagrams, etc, is accurate, error-free, and unbiased.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Yes the content is up-to-date and will not become obsolete within a short period of time, although the brain is a particularly active area of research and there is still a lot we don't know. However, the information within this text covers areas that are currently being well-established, and I think it provides an excellent base to which new information could be added or enhanced as time goes on.

Note: In Story #4 Boost Your Brain Power, we might want to be a bit careful about promoting the Canada Food Guide as the best resource for making healthy choices for eating. I have read some literature that suggests that the food guide is outdated and that it was created by the food industry, not necessarily with the most truthful or up-to-date knowledge about what is actually in the best interests of the health of Canadians. For example, the guide suggests that the bottom and largest section of the "food pyramid" should be carbohydrates/grains/flour-based foods, but some nutrition theories suggest that in fact these kinds of foods (especially since many of them are processed and high in sugar in gluten) are actually not that great for us.

Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Yes, the prose is definitely lucid, accessible, flows nicely, reads easily, has nice rhythm and logic, is adapted for clarity and avoiding too much jargon, although a couple of words I might add to the glossary for a bit more of an explanation would be "neuron," "cerebral cortex," and "lobe."

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The text has very nice consistency in term of terminology and framework, the style is easy to get used to and stays consistent, with a nice progression from beginning to end.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

The test is easily and readily divisible, each story averages approx 5-10 nicely contained paragraphs for easy divisibility, and some of them have numbered subtopics that are clearly sub-headed and not too long. The text is not self-referential and could be flexibly reorganized to suit a teacher's needs.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

The topics are beautifully clear and logical, the title of each story aligns nicely to the content within, drawing attention to the relevant topic but also providing possible talking points for teachers to elicit predictions and conversations by students.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

The text is very clear, no interface issues, navigation is very accessible and straightforward, visuals are appealing with no distortion, and nothing is distracting.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

Grammar and spelling are excellent, I found no problems whatsoever, except one tiny pronoun reference which maybe could be improved in story #3 The Many Pathways to Knowledge, in paragraph #4 where it says, "When Barbara was 25 years old, she learned about a scientist who found the structure of the brain could be changed by experience and exercise. She decided to create exercises to change her brain to do the things she was supposedly unable to do." The "She" at the beginning of the second sentence, it is not immediately obvious whether "She" is referring to Barbara or the scientist.

In story #7 The Sixth Sense: Intuition, in the last paragraph, "We also tend to pay attention to information that confirms our beliefs..." maybe a great spot to intro the vocab word "prejudice/discrimination"?

In story #8 The Big Five: Personality, just these observations (but not mistakes): Under #1 How Open are You? To start sentence #3 "A person who is closed..." I would maybe put the transition "On the other hand," or "In contrast"

Under #5 How sensitive are you, the sentence "Personality tends to change over time..." maybe change to "can change," or "sometimes changes?"

The last sentence of this story "...psychologists suggest we will probably be happier if we change to meet our needs, rather than try to meet our idea of the perfect personality." An important idea... a little unclear what this means ie what kinds of needs?

Grammar Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

Yes the text is sensitive and inclusive and provides good diversity, inclusivity, and representation; in a text like this it can mostly be seen in the selected graphics/images, which is important.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

Yes I recommend this book for any course because it presents info that is interesting, informative, knowledgeable, and helpful to anyone. It touches on science and biology, theories of self, and also provides excellent advice for stress management and mental health/wellness/overall well-being.