Thank you for choosing my textbook for your class. I hope you and your students enjoy the content and learn a lot from it. My goal is to educate through engagement. The more that both the teacher and students are engaged in the content, the more both are going to learn from it.
This book focuses on reading and writing. You may go to the instructor’s site here to find instructor-only lesson plans and materials, as well as tests, answer keys, presentation topics, and to upload your own materials to contribute to the site.
The goal of this textbook is to teach advanced students of English as a second language about American and Western culture and English vocabulary and idioms, as well as critical thinking skills. Thus, I advise not spending much effort in remembering character’s names, place names, or irrelevant story events. Focus on how the characters and the stories have affected culture and what language we use from the characters and their stories.
Use this as an opportunity to teach students how to synthesize information from different stories, and make comparisons with the stories and real events, real people, or stories or experiences from their culture.
Because these stories were often passed down through oral tradition or changed in Roman texts, be aware that there may be many versions of the same Greek myth. The stories in this textbook may have a combination of several tellings to make the stories more interesting or refer to key vocabulary. In the additional materials, you may find that there are different versions of the stories, and that is normal and OK.
Stories and articles in this textbook have been adapted using COCA, the Corpus of Contemporary English. You can learn more about COCA here. Obscure or obsolete vocabulary have been replaced with more frequently used synonyms, when possible, and with vocabulary that occurs more frequently in both academic readings and literature. This increases the chance that vocabulary students encounter in stories will also be vocabulary they will find in more academic readings, and vice versa.
The text of the stories and articles has been analyzed to find their CEFR level by using http://www.roadtogrammar.com/textanalysis/. You can find each reading’s CEFR level at the bottom of the page, and you can check this chart for what CEFR levels mean.
Keep in mind that this textbook is a work in progress. If you find anything that needs to be corrected, any suggestions or findings or additional resources that you created that could help future teachers use this textbook, please contact the author through this contact form. Please also contact the author if you have used any part of this textbook in a course–we would love to hear how it was used and any feedback!