I TALK YOU TALK PRESS

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I Talk You Talk Press EXTRA Language Learning Resources

FAQ

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About Us

 

Q. Who is behind I Talk You Talk Press, and who writes your books?

 

A. Our main team is made up of Stephen, Heather and Patricia, three experienced language teachers and linguists based in Japan, with a combined sixty years of teaching EFL. (See the About Us page for more details.)

 

We work with writers in Australia, Japan and the UK who have all taught and studied languages to advanced levels, and are currently working with languages. Some teach in state schools and higher education institutions, and others work as translators. We also have a large team of language learners with whom we pilot our graded readers and textbooks.

 

Many people are involved in the process from the planning, writing, editing, proofreading and piloting stages to the design, production, publishing and marketing of each graded reader.

 

Our graded readers are very much collaborative efforts, and no reader is the work of only one writer. For this reason, the collective name I Talk You Talk Press appears under the author name on the copyright page of each graded reader.

 

 Graded Readers and Extensive Reading

 

Q. Why graded readers?

 

A. We believe that reading for pleasure is very important in language learning. It is well known that reading in one's native language is vital for children's educational and linguistic advancement. Foreign language learning is no different.

However, many learners, especially those at the beginning or intermediate stages, struggle to get through native level texts and are unable to read them without the frequent use of a dictionary.

Intensive reading, which involves the constant checking of vocabulary, may be an integral classroom activity for teaching vocabulary, grammar and comprehension, but it is a slow process, and turns reading into an academic exercise, or worse, a tedious chore.

 

Extensive reading, in which learners choose books they can read easily without using a dictionary, is different. Learners read for pleasure, and in doing so, naturally absorb and reinforce the language they already know.

Extensive reading is very useful as an extension to classroom activity, but equally useful for:

  • learners who are not in a formal language study programme
  • people who just like reading in another language
  • people who wish to maintain their acquired ability.

 

Many of our students who try extensive reading tell us they feel a great sense of achievement in knowing that they have read a book in another language, and feel more confident in their language abilities.

 

Q. What level graded readers should learners choose?

 

A. Language learners should choose a book that they can read easily without a dictionary.

The ideal book is usually a level lower than the learner's actual ability. For example, a B1 (CEFR) level learner should be most comfortable with graded readers at levels A1/A2 .

 

Q. What kind of graded readers should learners choose?

 

A. The reader should be of interest to the language learner. The question we like to ask is, would the learner pick that book up and read it for pleasure if it was in their native language? If the answer is yes, great. If not, then the learner may soon become bored and find reading the book a chore, which defeats the purpose of extensive reading.

 

By choosing a story of interest that they can easily read without a dictionary, learners are able to develop fluency, absorb sentence structures, reinforce learnt vocabulary and patterns, and develop a sense of the language. Ideally, they will become absorbed in the story and forget that they are even reading in a different language.

 

Q. Will reading graded readers help me on tests such as TOEFL and IELTS?

 

A. Yes we believe so. Reading easy texts helps to improve your reading speed and comprehension. The more you read, the faster you will become. This skill will help you in the reading sections of the tests.

 

Q. Will reading I Talk You Talk Press graded readers help learners in everyday situations?

 

A. We think so. Our fiction graded readers are contemporary stories which contain characters who engage in situations that the reader may encounter. Stories contain language that the learner can recognize and can actually use in daily life.

 

For this reason, all of our fiction graded readers stress dialogue and action, in preference to lengthy, descriptive passages.

 

Our non-fiction readers cover contemporary topics, reinforcing language which learners need when discussing such topics.

 

Q. Do you publish re-writes of classics?

 

A. No we don't. That is not to say these readers are not good – far from it, they are a necessary component of literature and language courses, and essential for learners interested in the history and the culture of the language they are learning. There are many publishers, such as Oxford University Press*, who offer extremely well-written adaptations of classics, and we encourage learners who are interested in such works to read them!

(*We are not affiliated with this publisher)

 

However, we cater for learners interested in contemporary stories and issues, and those who want to pick up and reinforce immediately useable language.

 

Q. Why do some of your English graded readers feature characters from non-English speaking countries?

 

A. Throughout our teaching careers, we have found that while many EFL learners want to read about the culture and characters from predominantly English speaking countries, there are also students who prefer to read about characters from places they have visited, or from their own culture or background.

 

Feedback from our students and readers of our books tells us that they find it easier to empathize with such characters, and thus, are more able to become absorbed in the story.

 

Q. Do you have a word count list?

 

A. Yes, you can download the list here. (PDF file) It is updated every month. I Talk You Talk Press Graded Reader Word Counts

 

 Q. Why does the word count of your graded readers differ within each level?

 

A. In the graded reader market, there seems to be a correlation between book length and level. Books at the A1/A2 (Starter) level are often shorter than those at the higher B2/C1 (Advanced) levels.

However, not every learner at the starter level is satisfied with a short book, and not every learner at the higher level wants to read a long book. In our native languages, we choose and read books and stories of differing length for many reasons, such as our mood or time available. We think such choices should be available to language learners, too.

 

Q. Why are there no illustrations in I Talk You Talk Press graded readers?

 

A. It is sometimes said that illustrations are necessary, as they help the learner to understand the story.

 

We acknowledge the value and popularity of graded readers with illustrations, and believe they have their place in the market.  Extensive reading should be fun – and we encourage learners who enjoy reading books with illustrations to read them!

 

However, for extensive reading to be effective, learners must read many books. This can be expensive, especially when a lot of the book is taken up with illustrations.

 

One of the deciding factors in choosing not to use illustrations in our books was the feedback  we recieved from our adult students. Students told us they not only wanted value for money, but they also want to feel a sense of achievement in having "read a real book". When learners choose our books, they can be sure that they are getting a book full of text, in the language they are learning.

 

Q. Why does I Talk You Talk Press only publish graded readers in e-book format?

 

A. We publish our readers in e-book format to keep costs as low as possible. We hope that our low prices encourage learners to read more.

 

Q. Are there any activities for I Talk You Talk Press graded readers?

 

A. Yes. You can find quizzes and questions on our resource/blog site I Talk You Talk Press EXTRA.

 

Q. Are you going to publish graded readers for learners of other languages?

 

A. Yes. We are currently preparing graded readers in a range of languages. More information will be available in 2014.

 

Submissions

 

Q. Do you accept graded reader and textbook proposals?

 

A. We are not accepting submissions at present, however, as we grow, that may change. More details regarding submissions and the languages we require will be posted on this site at that time.

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