Our top 10 blog posts in 2018

After 12 months of blogging it is a pleasure to look back on the year and see some of our most liked posts in the year. Although it was difficult to pick our top 10, here they are now for all of us to revisit. Many thanks for following us in 2018, and we look forward to sharing new ideas about new readers, lessons, projects, authors, illustrators and fresh ideas in  2019.

Sherlock Holmes and the Stolen Jewels in the classroom

Projects and activities for your classroom.

In the Helbling Reader Sherlock Holmes and the Stolen Jewels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle you can read two stories. They both appeared in the Strand Magazine in 1892. The book was adapted by Geraldine Sweeney and illustrated by Agilulfo Russo for teens and of course any adult reader at an elementary level of English (CEFR A1-A2).

Extensive Reading Research: Language Development

Here we look at some of the latest studies in ER in a language-learning setting and share some of the findings and their implications . In this first post we concentrate on ER and second language vocabulary/grammar development, discussing.

The Secret Agent in the English classroom

Projects and activities for your classroom.

This novel by Joseph Conrad was published in 1907 but its themes have resonated among its readers over the long decades since then. It is a political thriller, a spy and detective story and a psychological novel.

The world of Edgar Allan Poe

illustration from The Fall of the House of Usher (Tales of Mystery) by Edgar Allan Poe. © Helbling Languages

Projects, themes and activities for your classroom.

We recommend the Helbling Reader Tales of Mystery, adapted by Janet Olearski for a B1-level reading audience, accompanied by the atmospheric illustrations of Giuseppe Palumbo. The volume includes three stories written by Edgar Allan Poe.

Inspiring teachers: active reading in Austria

In our ‘Inspiring teachers’ interview series we talked to Margit Oblak, a language teacher from Kumberg, a small village in Styria in Austria. She always does a reading project on World Book Day (23rd April). Their reading projects are called ’Lesefreitag’ on ’Andersentag’. They spend a night reading in the school  (including the gym) and then they solve puzzles and riddles, do some listening and reading tasks, and then they act out some scenes. They also read out various stiautions while doing other activities in the gym.

The Big Book Reading Experience

Big books are large format versions of storybooks which have been specially devised for shared reading and reading aloud. Helbling Young Readers  and Thinking Train Big Books are large format versions of the original Helbling Young Readers and Thinking Train series. Magnified illustrations and enlarged text allow children to see and follow words as they are pointed to and read by the teacher.

Hooked on Books: Writing stories with Paul Davenport

In our ‘Hooked on Books’ interview series we talked to Paul Davenport, the author of two of our graded readers, Princess on the Run and Stubs Grows Up. Paul worked as a teacher for almost 40 years and has written about 30 stories for language learners. He talks about his reading and teaching, his background and shares his views on reading in school.

‘The more, the merrier’: extensive reading in the classroom

This article discusses practical ways of building extensive reading projects in the classroom, based on research evidence.

Arts & crafts projects for sunny and rainy days

In our series of readers for young learners (Helbling Young Readers and The Thinking Train) you will find a project at the end of each book. These one-page projects are arts & crafts activities or board games which will help you end the reading sessions in a playful way, connecting the story with your immediate environment and creating something that not only serve as toys but also remind you of different elements of the story. Here are our favourite projects for cooler, rainy days and warmer, sunny days. Some of them will work well inside the house and some you can also take or make outside. We selected our favourite projects from the Helbling Young Readers series. You will find each project at the end of the readers or you can download them from the Helbling Young Readers website.

Meet the illustrator: Manuela Scarfò

Manuela Scarfò with the young reader ‘The Dark in the Box’.

What is it like to bring a character to life? How do you start working on a picture book for children? What inspires an illustrator? In our interview series Meet the illustrator, we talk to Manuela Scarfò, the illustrator of our young reader, The Dark in the Box written by Rick Sampedro.

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