Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let's try that again

There are some days when one gets to work and realizes it would have been much wiser to have stayed home. This past week was five of those days in a row. 

Friday morning was the kicker, though -- and only a few people can truly understand why this has thrown me for a loop. (I'm normally a fairly stable person, all things considered.) 

Our Basic English (Basic ESL) program has five levels of courses. Over the past seven years, I've been truly happy with only one textbook -- the one we chose for Basic English 3. It wasn't perfect, but it was so much better than anything else any of us had found. The students loved it. The teachers loved it. It was affordable. 

It had useful vocabulary, clear and simple grammar explanations and no confusing frou-frou (lots of little unrelated pictures and tiny readings in very small print). The design was clean and well spaced. The only drawback was that the readings in the back were too high a level for the students. We supplemented the book with a reader. Problem solved. 

And I knew in my heart of hearts that the day would come when our campus bookstore would inform me that the publisher would no longer print the book. 

That day was this past Friday. The news came in the first e-mail I read in the morning, before I'd even had my coffee. The book is gone. There will be no new edition. 

So it is with great sadness that I say goodbye to Write and Read, Level DA, by John Dawkins, and begin the search for a replacement text.