Look for It in Your Library

By Mary Beth Lott
If you are an EXCEL student or EXCEL graduate and live near an EXCEL supervisor, you are welcome to check out books from the EXCEL libraries.  The EXCEL “librarians” are the EXCEL supervisors, who are located in Hovd, Zuunmod, and Ulaanbaatar. 

In this edition of Practical English Teaching, we’re featuring two EXCEL library books- Tuning in the U.S.A. and Desert, Mountain, and Sea.

For those of you who want more listening practice, check out Tuning in the U.S.A. Listener’s Guide and Cassettes.  This book follows a typical America family through some typical activities such as a birthday party, after school activities, a trip to Washington, D.C., and a baseball game.  Each program features a taped conversation, a written script of the conversation, a glossary, a short comment on American culture, and a few discussion questions.  There are 26 programs contained in the book and on the cassettes.  The material is appropriate for intermediate level students.  Tuning in the U.S.A. was written by Stuart Leigh, Rebecca Kalin, Alvin Cooperman, and George Lefferts. 

Have you ever tried to study for a test by putting the textbook under your pillow?  I doubt that old trick has any effect, but there is a fun and painless way to improve your English speaking skills.  Studies have shown that reading will improve speaking.  So pick up a good novel or adventure story in English and grow in fluency while you pass some pleasant hours with the characters in the book.

Dessert, Mountain, and Sea by Sue Leather is one of the Oxford Bookworms readers in the EXCEL libraries.  Ms. Leather tells the true stories of three different women in three different and very dangerous parts of the world.  One woman walked nearly 3,000 kilometers across the Australian desert with only her dog and a few camels as companions.  Another led a team of women on an expedition to climb Anapurna, one of the world’s highest mountains.  The third woman sailed alone around the world.  Part of the excitement of reading is putting yourself in the place of the book’s characters and wondering how you would respond.  Could you walk across 3,000 miles of desert alone or sail around the world alone?  Would you risk death to climb one of the world’s highest mountains?  What risks would you take?  Is there anything or anyone for whom you would risk your life? Dessert, Mountain, and Sea will challenge and inspire you.  It is a Stage 4 book and is suitable for intermediate students.