A kind teacher just alerted me to an out of date link…for the lovely ‘Bad Hair Day’ ESOL/EAL reading resources by Karen Barber (who also wrote the Carly and Kumar books).

These readers were free on the Central AMEP website, but now I see the link has changed..

UPDATE: It has changed again, and the readers are now on YouTube! There are also worksheets.

Four ESOL readers to read online

There are three readers in one series: Bad Hair Day, A Snag Free Barbie, and A Day to Remember – as well as the Learner Driver reader.

As Karen says, [they] were ‘created for classes that consisted of non-readers, emergent readers and beginning level learners with high oracy and limited or no previous formal education.’ However, I think they’d also delight post-beginners, who might find them easy to read, but would enjoy discussing them.

Familiar language

The topics are family-based and the language is very familiar. Bad Hair Day is told from a daughter’s perspective:

It was Monday morning. I woke up at 7am. It was a cold morning, so I quickly put on my school uniform. Then I had breakfast. I wasn’t very hungry, so I had a piece of toast with jam. My older sister made me some hot chocolate.

I love this beginning, because I can imagine the discussions (for beginners) just from this first page:

  • What time do your children wake up? What time do you wake up?
  • Is it cold in your house?
  • What do you eat for breakfast? What do your children eat? What’s a healthy breakfast….?  etc etc

Even the titles are funny…

Bad Hair Day is all about head lice – such an important part of school life (unfortunately) – and yet not a frequent topic in ESOL resources… until now. A Snag Free Barbie is all about leaving the sausages at home…

Even if students don’t get the joke now, they will eventually.

Highly recommended – and free!