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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

ESL Classifieds

ESL Books: Idioms - Turn of Phrase ESL: ESL Gamebooks
By:Genevieve DeGuzman <editor@nightowlspress.com>
Date: 4 November 2015

Turn of Phrase ESL (TOP ESL) is an educational series that introduces English language learners to idioms, phrasal verbs, and collocations in the form of chooseable path novels. The series is designed for intermediate to advanced level young adult and adult learners.

TOP ESL books offer English language learners:

* A rich source of idiomatic expressions;

* Meaningful contexts of those expressions in action; and

* A gamebook reading format that will have readers hooked with cliffhangers and plot twists.

As immersive learning experiences, TOP ESL’s gamebooks are effective teaching tools. Researchers have long shown that learning a language in meaningful contexts can help students become more fluent and improve retention. The gamebook format provides the contextual literacy that is so important in language education. With their chooseable path structure, the books aren’t just an absorbing storytelling experience but are also a fun storymaking one. As readers immerse themselves in the stories and lives of the characters in the books, they become fully engaged in their own learning.

Available books:

- An Artful Heist by Jacob Jun

- Blackout by G.K. Gilbert

- Cleaning House by Rebecca M. Karli

- The Spoonmaker’s Diamond by Mary M. Slechta

Praise for TOP ESL:

“Recognizing and using English idioms and phrasal verbs is essential to fluency. My students love learning and using idioms, but we can only cover so many of them in class. This series gives learners a fun, contextual way to access and learn a plethora of idiomatic phrases. I’m so excited to recommend these books to my students!”
– Brynna Larsen, English as an Additional Language Teacher, Bonn International School

“I’m pleased with the user-friendly model employed—a thoughtful, well-designed, and systematic approach to teaching second language learners important features of English, including but not limited to idiom, figures of speech, authentic English expression and collocations. I look forward to introducing this series to my Chinese undergraduates next semester.”
– Michael D. Brown, Professor, English as a Foreign Language, Nanjing Agricultural University

“A focus on vocabulary, activation of prior knowledge, and the stimulation of higher order thinking are core principles identified by the Center for Applied Linguistics. The TOP ESL books not only support these research-based practices, they promote strong student-to-text interactions in a fun and creative way.”
– Areli Schermerhorn, ESL, World Languages, and Bilingual Peer Observer, Syracuse City School District

“TOP ESL is a great advancement in the education of English language learners. Idioms and colloquial expressions were always the most difficult aspects of language to teach in the ESL classroom. With TOP ESL, students are able to learn the meanings behind common idioms and catchphrases in books with attention-grabbing plot lines. This is the type of resource that would have been greatly valued when I was teaching, and I hope that future ESL students take advantage of what is now at their disposal.”
– David Whalen, Former ESL instructor and 
Addictions Counselor, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre


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