Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
This text is a clearly organized reader for Adult Literary Fundamental English (ALFE) level 2 students. The reader describes the poet, Langston Hughes’ life, writings and the challenges he faced. The author has also included excerpts from Hughes’ poems throughout the reader. There is no glossary in the text, but the course pack that accompanies the reader contains a picture dictionary for each chapter. There is a clear table of content.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
The content is accurate and unbiased. More background information may need to be presented to support the students’ understanding. The diagrams are relevant and enhance the text. Instructors using the accompanying course pack may need to discuss the pictures in the picture dictionary section as some visuals may be difficult for students to identify.
Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
The content is current and relevant to readers, and parts may impact the readers personally. It provides a view of the climate that Hughes grew up in as an African American in the 1920s. Some of the ideas that come up in the text can connect to what is happening in today’s society. Also, poetry from other writers can be introduced at any point of the text.
Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
The text is written in a straightforward manner. The narrative moves quickly, but smoothly. The style of writing is succinct. Readers will be able to use the context to guess the meaning of more difficult vocabulary that they will encounter. However, the poems may feel challenging for students.
Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The layout is consistent. Each chapter provides information with an excerpt from one of Hughes’ poems that relate to specific events or ideas in the chapter. The poems are presented in the same way in each chapter. The level of difficulty in vocabulary is appropriate for the level.
Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The text would be used most effectively in its entirety as a reader over a number of classes. All chapters should be used together in order to understand the significance of Hughes’ life and work as a whole. Chapters can not be used independently as the chapters follow the events that happened in Hughes’ life chronologically. However, each chapter ends logically and leaves the reader wanting to continue to the next.
Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The chapters are organized chronologically which make it easy to follow. Each chapter presents events and personal challenges in Hughes’ life. Each chapter also
includes a poem related to the information in that chapter. If needed, students can go back to previous chapters for reference.
Organization Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
The text has no interface issues. The text is easy to access, and there were no navigation problems. The font size is appropriate for adult learners.
Interface Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
There are no apparent grammatical or spelling errors.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
The text brings up race, discrimination, and sexual orientation. The writer presents these topics in a respectful manner. The writer is neither insensitive nor offensive.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
I highly recommend this book to level 2 learners. Most students will find the text interesting because there is a measure of complexity that is not present in readers for this level. Also, the book contains thought provoking topics that can lead to productive discussions. Lastly, this reader provides an interesting way to introduce poetry into a class.