Category: Literacy

A blog by Shalon Sims about creative writing, literacy, education and psychology

Using comics to teach literacy

Diversity, Multimodality & Comics Teaching children’s literature using sequential visual narratives Part 1: How comics were squeezed out of my life Until recently, perhaps the last five years, I looked down on comics and visual narratives. As a young reader, I read Archie and some Wonderwoman; however, I didn’t relate to the male protagonists of most…
Read more

Fear & Horror in Children’s Literature – A review of the truly scariest kids and YA books

Part 1: Lost in the Woods I am fascinated by the special kind of horror that can only be found in stories about and for children. Since the very first children’s books by Perrault and the Grimm brothers, and before that, in folktales and oral traditions, stories about children have so often been gruesome and…
Read more

Let children read books for adults!

Was I alone in my quest for adult reading materials? Around the age of nine or ten I discovered Stephen King, and I would never go back to the Sweet Valley of children’s books ever again. I recall sneaking my mother’s horror and thriller books from her bedroom bookshelf, one at a time, and reading…
Read more

What is grammar?

So, what is grammar?  One of the best definitions of grammar that I have heard comes from a book called The Practice of English Language Teaching (link opens book on Scribd), which defines grammar as: “the description of the ways in which words can change their forms and be combined to form sentences.“ For example, “I pie…
Read more

Most frequently used words in English

Did you know that the average person uses only 2000-5000 words on a daily basis? One of the most important tools I use as an English, ESL & Literacy teacher is a most frequently-used-words list. It is possible to make countless vocabulary exercises & games from the crucial 2000 most frequently used words, and they…
Read more

Reading for Learning a New Language

If you are learning a new language, the most useful and pleasant thing you can do for your study is READ!!!  As an ESL teacher, I have noticed that my students who are regular readers, really advance more quickly than students who do not like reading.  Therefore it is important to foster the skill of…
Read more

The Importance of Sound for Mastering a Language

When we are young, we learn the sounds of our language automatically from our parents, but when we learn a new language we need to pay special attention to the sounds. In most languages, including English, sound is made with two types of letters: 1) Consonants and 2) Vowels The consonants are similar in many…
Read more