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Re: Free or low-cost graded readers?

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  • jaredthomasturner
    Hi Laura, I live in China and I have dealt with the real issues of getting graded readers here. The Chinese government has tight control over anything
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 26, 2013
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      Hi Laura,

      I live in China and I have dealt with the real issues of getting graded readers here. The Chinese government has tight control over anything publishing and media and as result the publishers are not allowed to sell directly to anyone. Instead they have to go through quasi-gov owned distributors and I have found they do not carry any inventory of graded readers. You must order them and they will arrive in 4 to 6 weeks. I have been told that you can purchase through Hong Kong and it is quicker, but they still may or may not have the books in stock. China is the land of counterfeit items, however ER is not even close to having caught on and there are not even any counterfeit graded readers available (I've looked).

      There are some quasi graded reader type books available but they are either produced by Chinese companies or through joint venture efforts between foreign and Chinese companies and the quality is quite lacking. Most have more activities and worksheets in them than actual narrative story and they are lacking in methodology. Even so, the selection is really small.

      Even if they were available, I would wish you good luck to get approval for a budget to buy any real books in China. I is often very difficult to get any administrator to invest any money in this type of program for a new method which they are not sold on for a teacher who will be gone in 4 months, much less a Chinese administrator.

      I have searched extensively for online materials and there is nothing that is good and free. On Chinese social media, there are some cracked graded readers floating around but I have looked at them and there are some serious errors in them. It appears that they might have been scanned and converted to text and as result there are a lot of problems. Some are good, but most are not. (I hate talking about pirate materials, but that is the reality here in China).

      The only real option is to have each student purchase the ebooks that you want them to read, however only Macmillan has any ebook library to speak of and their DRM (digital rights management) is through Adobe and they only work on certain devices that can use the Adobe DRM. Plus, they don't take payments in RMB, China's currency.

      So unless you want to be a pirate, there is really no cheap and practical solution for getting graded readers in China. I spent about 2 months trying to figure this out and there you have it. I am quite sorry to throw a wet blanket on the discussion. If you, or anyone else, has a good solution I would be extremely excited to hear it.

      Side note for Joseph; Twitter is blocked in China. A response via the group would be appreciated.

      Best,

      Jared Turner
      Shanghai, China

      --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, Glen Hill wrote:
      >
      > Ben Shearon's web site has some free book recommendations.
      > You could also just ask the publishers directly for free samples. I
      > wouldn't expect more than 3-4 at most from each, though.
      >
      > Glenski
      >
      > On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM, Mark Brierley wrote:
      >
      > > **
      > >
      > >
      > > Hi Joe,
      > >
      > > Would your twitter response fit in an email for the benefit of anyone not
      > > on Twitter?
      > >
      > > Laura,
      > >
      > > I imagine many Chinese students will have some kind of access to
      > > electronic devices, so giving URLs directly to students, and teaching how
      > > to find web rading resources may be more effective than paper.
      > >
      > > Mark
      > >
      > > Mark Brierley
      > > School of General Education
      > > Shinshu University
      > > Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
      > > +81 263 37-2923
      > > mobile 090 4464 6391
      > >
      > > --
      > >
      > > My blog about building a plus-energy house in Japan:
      > > http://minuszeroeco.blogspot.com/
      > > On Jan 26, 2013 9:58 AM, "Joseph Poulshock" wrote:
      > >
      > >> **
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> Laura,
      > >>
      > >> I responded to this on Twitter.
      > >>
      > >> Sincerely,
      > >>
      > >> Joseph Poulshock, PhD
      > >> Professor of English Linguistics
      > >> Director of English Language Education
      > >> Tokyo Christian University
      > >> Editor, BeeOasis.com
      > >> Follow me on Twitter
      > >> Blog: DrShock.net
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> On Jan 26, 2013, at 8:17 AM, "soral140" wrote:
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> Hello,
      > >>
      > >> I am heading to China next month to teach at a High School for 4 months.
      > >> I will be teaching mainly academic prep, but many of my students are at a
      > >> low or lower intermediate level. Since I am going through the community
      > >> college I currently teach at and I will be the last teacher there, I do not
      > >> count with the financial resources to get a small ER library. I would like
      > >> to print some books here and take them with me because I want to help the
      > >> students who don't have sufficient English skills do engage in academic
      > >> work yet.
      > >>
      > >> Any recommendations for free resources? I've already downloaded some
      > >> books through Reading A-Z, but I don't know where else to go.
      > >>
      > >> Thank you.
      > >>
      > >> Laura Adele Soracco
      > >> http://anotheryearoftesol.weebly.com/
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      >
    • Rob Waring
      Hello, I m interjecting about Joe and Twitter. My guess is that Joe dealt with his reply on Twitter so he did not break the rule on self-promotion of
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 26, 2013
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        Hello,

        I'm interjecting about Joe and Twitter. My guess is that Joe dealt with his reply on Twitter so he did not break the rule on self-promotion of commercial resources and therefore cannot reply directly mentioning this - so I'll do it for him. Joe probably wanted Laura to look at his website http://www.beeoasis.com/  which has some free content and some paid online graded content. About 1000 texts now I think.


        Rob Waring
        waring.rob@...
        www.ER-Central.com   Check it out!


        On Jan 27, 2013, at 1:04 AM, jaredthomasturner <jared.thomas.turner@...> wrote:

         

        Hi Laura,

        I live in China and I have dealt with the real issues of getting graded readers here. The Chinese government has tight control over anything publishing and media and as result the publishers are not allowed to sell directly to anyone. Instead they have to go through quasi-gov owned distributors and I have found they do not carry any inventory of graded readers. You must order them and they will arrive in 4 to 6 weeks. I have been told that you can purchase through Hong Kong and it is quicker, but they still may or may not have the books in stock. China is the land of counterfeit items, however ER is not even close to having caught on and there are not even any counterfeit graded readers available (I've looked).

        There are some quasi graded reader type books available but they are either produced by Chinese companies or through joint venture efforts between foreign and Chinese companies and the quality is quite lacking. Most have more activities and worksheets in them than actual narrative story and they are lacking in methodology. Even so, the selection is really small.

        Even if they were available, I would wish you good luck to get approval for a budget to buy any real books in China. I is often very difficult to get any administrator to invest any money in this type of program for a new method which they are not sold on for a teacher who will be gone in 4 months, much less a Chinese administrator.

        I have searched extensively for online materials and there is nothing that is good and free. On Chinese social media, there are some cracked graded readers floating around but I have looked at them and there are some serious errors in them. It appears that they might have been scanned and converted to text and as result there are a lot of problems. Some are good, but most are not. (I hate talking about pirate materials, but that is the reality here in China).

        The only real option is to have each student purchase the ebooks that you want them to read, however only Macmillan has any ebook library to speak of and their DRM (digital rights management) is through Adobe and they only work on certain devices that can use the Adobe DRM. Plus, they don't take payments in RMB, China's currency.

        So unless you want to be a pirate, there is really no cheap and practical solution for getting graded readers in China. I spent about 2 months trying to figure this out and there you have it. I am quite sorry to throw a wet blanket on the discussion. If you, or anyone else, has a good solution I would be extremely excited to hear it.

        Side note for Joseph; Twitter is blocked in China. A response via the group would be appreciated.

        Best,

        Jared Turner
        Shanghai, China

        --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, Glen Hill wrote:
        >
        > Ben Shearon's web site has some free book recommendations.
        > You could also just ask the publishers directly for free samples. I
        > wouldn't expect more than 3-4 at most from each, though.
        >
        > Glenski
        >
        > On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM, Mark Brierley wrote:
        >
        > > **
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi Joe,
        > >
        > > Would your twitter response fit in an email for the benefit of anyone not
        > > on Twitter?
        > >
        > > Laura,
        > >
        > > I imagine many Chinese students will have some kind of access to
        > > electronic devices, so giving URLs directly to students, and teaching how
        > > to find web rading resources may be more effective than paper.
        > >
        > > Mark
        > >
        > > Mark Brierley
        > > School of General Education
        > > Shinshu University
        > > Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
        > > +81 263 37-2923
        > > mobile 090 4464 6391
        > >
        > > --
        > >
        > > My blog about building a plus-energy house in Japan:
        > > http://minuszeroeco.blogspot.com/
        > > On Jan 26, 2013 9:58 AM, "Joseph Poulshock" wrote:
        > >
        > >> **
        > >>
        > >>
        > >> Laura,
        > >>
        > >> I responded to this on Twitter.
        > >>
        > >> Sincerely,
        > >>
        > >> Joseph Poulshock, PhD
        > >> Professor of English Linguistics
        > >> Director of English Language Education
        > >> Tokyo Christian University
        > >> Editor, BeeOasis.com
        > >> Follow me on Twitter
        > >> Blog: DrShock.net
        > >>
        > >>
        > >> On Jan 26, 2013, at 8:17 AM, "soral140" wrote:
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >> Hello,
        > >>
        > >> I am heading to China next month to teach at a High School for 4 months.
        > >> I will be teaching mainly academic prep, but many of my students are at a
        > >> low or lower intermediate level. Since I am going through the community
        > >> college I currently teach at and I will be the last teacher there, I do not
        > >> count with the financial resources to get a small ER library. I would like
        > >> to print some books here and take them with me because I want to help the
        > >> students who don't have sufficient English skills do engage in academic
        > >> work yet.
        > >>
        > >> Any recommendations for free resources? I've already downloaded some
        > >> books through Reading A-Z, but I don't know where else to go.
        > >>
        > >> Thank you.
        > >>
        > >> Laura Adele Soracco
        > >> http://anotheryearoftesol.weebly.com/
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >
        >


      • Marc Helgesen
        The website for my reading class has links to a lot of other sites, including some for stories. Anyone is welcome to use it.
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 27, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          The website for my reading class has links to a lot of other sites,
          including some for stories.
          Anyone is welcome to use it.

          http://isreading.weebly.com/stories.html

          Best

          Marc
          --
          Marc Helgesen
          Professor
          Dept. of Intercultural Studies
          Miyagi Gakuin Women's University
          9-1-1 Sakuragaoka, Aoba-ku, Sendai 981-8557 Japan
          march@...
          Tel: +81 (0)22 277-6204
          Fax: +81 (0)22 277-6208
          http://www.mgu.ac.jp/~ic/helgesen/Helgesen.front.htm
          http://www.ELTandHappiness.com
          http://www.HelgesenHandouts.weebly.com
        • Laura Soracco
          Although my post went out a few weeks ago already, I didn t want to forget to reply and thank you all for your help when I asked about getting graded readers
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 11, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            Although my post went out a few weeks ago already, I didn't want to forget to reply and thank you all for your help when I asked about getting graded readers at a low-cost (or free) to take to China.

            @Jared, I am actually going through my community college here in the US, so I don't have to worry about the administration in China getting the books. Because I am the last person who will be at this high school, my school here doesn't want to spend any more money on books, especially considering they will only get used for 4 months. This is why I was looking for free or low cost graded readers that I could print and bring with me when I leave to China next month. My colleagues who were there before me brought some books, but they are novels and books that I know will be too complex for most students.

            @Joseph: thanks for the link. I'm still not sure how it all works and I was hoping I could get something printed -even if second second hand.

            Since I am not counting on having much access to online resources there or e-readers for students, I was hoping to bring the books myself. This won't be happening now, but I did want to share one resource I found that appears to be useful if someone is willing to print all the books and bind them. The website is http://www.readinga-z.com/ 

            Has anyone ever used their graded readers? I didn't trust I could get them printed at my school and since I couldn't see them all, I didn't proceed with getting licenses. Has anyone in this group ever ordered their books? I'd be curious to hear what you think.

            Thanks again, everyone.

            Best,

            Laura Adele Soracco









            On Jan 26, 2013, at 8:04 AM, jaredthomasturner wrote:

             

            Hi Laura,

            I live in China and I have dealt with the real issues of getting graded readers here. The Chinese government has tight control over anything publishing and media and as result the publishers are not allowed to sell directly to anyone. Instead they have to go through quasi-gov owned distributors and I have found they do not carry any inventory of graded readers. You must order them and they will arrive in 4 to 6 weeks. I have been told that you can purchase through Hong Kong and it is quicker, but they still may or may not have the books in stock. China is the land of counterfeit items, however ER is not even close to having caught on and there are not even any counterfeit graded readers available (I've looked).

            There are some quasi graded reader type books available but they are either produced by Chinese companies or through joint venture efforts between foreign and Chinese companies and the quality is quite lacking. Most have more activities and worksheets in them than actual narrative story and they are lacking in methodology. Even so, the selection is really small.

            Even if they were available, I would wish you good luck to get approval for a budget to buy any real books in China. I is often very difficult to get any administrator to invest any money in this type of program for a new method which they are not sold on for a teacher who will be gone in 4 months, much less a Chinese administrator.

            I have searched extensively for online materials and there is nothing that is good and free. On Chinese social media, there are some cracked graded readers floating around but I have looked at them and there are some serious errors in them. It appears that they might have been scanned and converted to text and as result there are a lot of problems. Some are good, but most are not. (I hate talking about pirate materials, but that is the reality here in China).

            The only real option is to have each student purchase the ebooks that you want them to read, however only Macmillan has any ebook library to speak of and their DRM (digital rights management) is through Adobe and they only work on certain devices that can use the Adobe DRM. Plus, they don't take payments in RMB, China's currency.

            So unless you want to be a pirate, there is really no cheap and practical solution for getting graded readers in China. I spent about 2 months trying to figure this out and there you have it. I am quite sorry to throw a wet blanket on the discussion. If you, or anyone else, has a good solution I would be extremely excited to hear it.

            Side note for Joseph; Twitter is blocked in China. A response via the group would be appreciated.

            Best,

            Jared Turner
            Shanghai, China

            --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, Glen Hill wrote:
            >
            > Ben Shearon's web site has some free book recommendations.
            > You could also just ask the publishers directly for free samples. I
            > wouldn't expect more than 3-4 at most from each, though.
            >
            > Glenski
            >
            > On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM, Mark Brierley wrote:
            >
            > > **
            > >
            > >
            > > Hi Joe,
            > >
            > > Would your twitter response fit in an email for the benefit of anyone not
            > > on Twitter?
            > >
            > > Laura,
            > >
            > > I imagine many Chinese students will have some kind of access to
            > > electronic devices, so giving URLs directly to students, and teaching how
            > > to find web rading resources may be more effective than paper.
            > >
            > > Mark
            > >
            > > Mark Brierley
            > > School of General Education
            > > Shinshu University
            > > Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
            > > +81 263 37-2923
            > > mobile 090 4464 6391
            > >
            > > --
            > >
            > > My blog about building a plus-energy house in Japan:
            > > http://minuszeroeco.blogspot.com/
            > > On Jan 26, 2013 9:58 AM, "Joseph Poulshock" wrote:
            > >
            > >> **
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Laura,
            > >>
            > >> I responded to this on Twitter.
            > >>
            > >> Sincerely,
            > >>
            > >> Joseph Poulshock, PhD
            > >> Professor of English Linguistics
            > >> Director of English Language Education
            > >> Tokyo Christian University
            > >> Editor, BeeOasis.com
            > >> Follow me on Twitter
            > >> Blog: DrShock.net
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> On Jan 26, 2013, at 8:17 AM, "soral140" wrote:
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Hello,
            > >>
            > >> I am heading to China next month to teach at a High School for 4 months.
            > >> I will be teaching mainly academic prep, but many of my students are at a
            > >> low or lower intermediate level. Since I am going through the community
            > >> college I currently teach at and I will be the last teacher there, I do not
            > >> count with the financial resources to get a small ER library. I would like
            > >> to print some books here and take them with me because I want to help the
            > >> students who don't have sufficient English skills do engage in academic
            > >> work yet.
            > >>
            > >> Any recommendations for free resources? I've already downloaded some
            > >> books through Reading A-Z, but I don't know where else to go.
            > >>
            > >> Thank you.
            > >>
            > >> Laura Adele Soracco
            > >> http://anotheryearoftesol.weebly.com/
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >
            >


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