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Dr. Alan Seaman
September 14, 2016
Book Critique

Four Point: Reading and Writing Intro English for Academic Purposes by Robyn
Brinks Lockwood and Kelly Sippell is a workbook for ESL students in the higher
academic setting. This book is the first volume of a series of three, published by The
University of Michigan Press, 2012. The whole series is focused on the four primary
skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in an integrated format together with
vocabulary and grammar. The author claims that the whole series is to help students to
improve their ability in each of these four critical skills and thereby enable the students to
have sufficient English to succeed in their final academic setting, whether it be
community college, college or university (p. ix). This book, however, is focused mainly
on introducing the general strategies in reading and writing to students in order to
function sufficiently in an academic university level setting in the United States. Most of
the reading materials also contain United States cultural references; name of places,
events in history and important values in life are some of them. The use of robust English
vocabulary, which is formal and specific, is implemented throughout the reading
materials.
This book is divided into six chapters, each of which focuses on particular field of
study: Marketing, Architecture, Linguistics, Fine arts, Legal studies and

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Literature. Each chapter consists of two long reading materials, approximately 6001200 words in length, accompanied with phases of learning activities related to reading
and writing. The before reading strategy includes a set of questions to draw out
students prior knowledge related to the topic, an explanation about the strategy that is
introduced for the section, and a number of multiple-choice or open-ended questions
regarding the text provided. The during reading strategy includes the use of a
vocabulary log and the reading itself, which is mostly done in a top-down reading
manner due to the robust vocabulary used in the text. The after reading strategy
provides an additional explanation on supplemental strategies related to the main strategy
being introduced in the chapter; for example re-reading and paraphrasing strategies
are provided as supplements to skimming. This after reading strategy section also
provides practices in the related strategies covered in the section. Strategies of reading
used at this stage include the bottom up and interactive approach. The last part gives
students longer exercises and projects, for example, Vocabulary Log projects or Short
Writing Tasks. Overall, each activity is designed to interconnect with the reading
materials or strategies that are introduced in that chapter.
I consider the reading level used in this book as well suited and slightly above the
level of its target users, as the author suggests that this book is for students in academic
programs who need a more general introduction to academic reading and writing (p. ix).
A reading assessment that was drawn from samples in the beginning, middle and end of
the book using the Fry method shows that the readability level of this book is at level
eight, thirteen and fifteen. This result supports the claim of the author that this book is
designed for students in academic settings. However, the book has a lot of high-level

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material to be called an introductory-level academic book. This is the first level of three
books in the series. That being said, I would expect instead to encounter some reading
materials in level thirteen and above from this book in the later books.
Four Point: Reading and Writing Intro English for Academic Purposes is a great
resource for ESL teachers who work with advanced ESL students in preparation for
entering college especially in the United States. This book combines reading and writing
as one cohesive element where one always supports the other, and I found this really
useful. As someone who came from an ESL setting and is now in an academic setting in
the United States myself, I found that the reading materials, exercises and strategies
provided are well suited for adult or young adult advanced ESL students in higher
academic settings in the United States. In addition, as someone who desires to work with
students in the ESL field in the higher education setting, I can see myself using this book
to aid both first-year college students or students preparing to study at the post-secondary
level in the United States. I would also consider using the later books in the series to get a
stronger understanding in reading, writing, listening and speaking. I would not
recommend this book for ESL learners in beginner or intermediate levels, though,
because working with such rich vocabulary and text types can be very overwhelming. As
much as it is beneficial for students to use or to be given only certain topics that are
related to the students interest, I can see that using all reading materials provided in this
book will be more beneficial. Students would gain an opportunity not only to work on
different types of reading texts but also on different reading-writing strategies that can be
used interchangeably to support various reading materials.

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The downside of this book is that it doesnt come with supplemental pages of
suggested answers or a teachers guide. I found it difficult to know if I got the right
answers or not. Also either as a self-learning book or a teacher-guided book, this book
requires good knowledge of United States customs, life and culture. Moreover, if this
book is used outside of the United States where the learning process would merely be in a
teacher-guided setting, teachers knowledge of United States customs and life is
essential. Good readers in their first language without enough understanding in United
States customs may find some reading materials still difficult to understand. Regarding
the books organization, I also found that some practice activity pages for reading are
placed before the reading material pages; this order can be difficult to follow. In order to
do some exercises, readers are required to go back and forth between pages; the flow of
learning or reading is easily interrupted this way. Supplemental material with suggested
answers or explanations in a teacher guide, knowledge of United States customs, and a
better organization for some book segments would improve this book.

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Cloze Test
The Good Earth: Demystifying the East
In The Good Earth (1931), Pearl Buck tells a timeless story about a farmer
struggling to eke out living from the earth. Hardworking and wildly ambitious, Wang
Lung . his wife, O-lan, pull themselves out poverty, bring children into the
world, famines and floods, and toil relentlessly .. build a fortune without
ever losing .. in the restorative power of the ... But their work is not the
only story. Marriages and conniving family .., natural disasters and wars, birth
and .. rebellions and opium addiction make The Earth a rich and
dramatic tapestry .life in early-twentieth-century China.
the time that The Good Earth in the United States, Chinese
citizens .. been barred from immigrating there for decades, and Americans
understanding of the nation of the world was extremely . Most
Americans thought of China as . mystical place. They considered the Chinese
.... and mysterious and thought of their .. as savage and inscrutable. The
Good . changed all that. Early readers of . novel recognized something
familiar in it .. responded enthusiastically. Wang Lungs indefatigable spirit
O-lans stoicism and extreme industry resonated . the American readers belief in
self-... The Good Earth also provided early--century readers with a
framework for . Chinese practices that Americans viewed as ...
Infanticide, foot-binding, and concubinage, while unsettling, were demystified by
being presented context.
While its themes are universal, .. Good Earths subject, the life of .
Chinese farmer and his wife, had . largely ignored in both English and
literature at the time of its .. . Wang Lung and O-lan are unforgettable
.sympathetic, flawed and most important not .. to a stock type.
Just when we think we fully know Wang Lung and O-lan Buck shows us yet another side
of them, making them seem more real and deepening our appreciation for their humanity.

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The Good Earth: Demystifying the East


In The Good Earth (1931), Pearl Buck tells a timeless story about a farmer
struggling to eke out living from the earth. Hardworking and wildly ambitious, Wang
Lung and his wife, O-lan, pull themselves out of poverty, bring children into the world,
survive famines and floods, and toil relentlessly to build a fortune without ever losing
faith in the restorative power of the land. But their work is not the novels only story.
Marriages and conniving family members, natural disasters and wars, birth and
adolescent rebellions and opium addiction make The Good Earth a rich and dramatic
tapestry of life in early-twentieth-century China.
At the time that The Good Earth appeared in the United States, Chinese citizens
had been barred from immigrating there for four decades, and Americans understanding
of the largest nation of the world was extremely distorted. Most Americans thought of
China as a mystical place. They considered the Chinese exotic and mysterious and
thought of their customs as savage and inscrutable. The Good Earth changed all that.
Early readers of the novel recognized something familiar in it and responded
enthusiastically. Wang Lungs indefatigable spirit and O-lans stoicism and extreme
industry resonated with the American readers belief in self-determinism. The Good
Earth also provided early-twentieth-century readers with a framework for
understanding Chinese practices that Americans viewed as peculiar. Infanticide, footbinding, and concubinage, while still unsettling, were demystified by being presented in
context.
While its themes are universal, The Good Earths subject, the life of rural
Chinese farmer and his wife, had been largely ignored in both English and Chinese
literature at the time of its publication. Wang Lung and O-lan are unforgettable
characterssympathetic, flawed and most important not reducible to a stock type.
Just when we think we fully know Wang Lung and O-lan Buck shows us yet another side
of them, making them seem more real and deepening our appreciation for their humanity.