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ESL forum > Teaching material > Story with limited vocabulary but advanced grammar?    

Story with limited vocabulary but advanced grammar?

Czech Republic

Story with limited vocabulary but advanced grammar?
I am looking for stories with limited vocabulary (1,000 to 2,000 key words).
The thing is, I have graded readers with limited vocabulary and simplified grammar but I need advanced grammar and complex sentence structures.
Is there a publisher that sells books with very limited vocabulary but advanced grammar? The sentence structures which could be found in unabridged detective stories or short stories of modern writers...(Dick Francis...)?

I mean, I am looking for a rich and enjoyable text but with "easy common" nouns, adjectives and verbs...
The text should illustrate the beauty of English language to students with limited vocabulary but advanced grammar...
It would be a sort of a bridge to the unabridged books... :-D

Any EFL writer who replaces "tough / big words" with the common words?

18 Mar 2011      

Bruna Dutra

Dear Nika,

I īm really sorry for not being able to help you out, but I was so amazed with how well you put it, I mean, the necessity of students to comprehend the grammar of the language without having to worry about understanding also every tough/new word.

I liked it so much your proposition that I īd like to ask you, if you find anything, please, let me know about it!!

Sorry for trying to take advantage of your idea!!! LOL


18 Mar 2011     

United Kingdom

Sorry, Nika, but what do you mean by "tough / big words" and "common" words? Do you have any examples?  English is a rich language and sometimes īsmall ī, "common" words can pack in a hell of a lot of different nuances depending on the context.

Also, students with an "advanced grammar" and knowledge of "complex sentence structures" should have no problem dealing with new vocabulary, surely?

18 Mar 2011     


Have a look at this site:
it has reading comprehensions from 1 to 5 level, maybe some of them might suit you,
good luck!

18 Mar 2011     

Czech Republic

Hello Almaz,
I am looking for some stories in English with a limited vocabulary to show the richness of the language. Students ī vocabulary is quite limited (1,500-2,000 words) but they are able to understand all tenses, they know many conjunctions, adverbs and sentence structures.
If I took unabridged Mawgli, it would be too difficult for them as there are 2 new words in each sentence. It would take them ages to finish the book...
I know there are graded readers for native speakers but those are for British/American children learning how to read... The topics are too childish...
I don īt want discourage the students... The EFL writers work with limited vocabulary bank too and the stories are enjoyable. But the sentences are too short and simple.
If I give the students readers level 6 (3,000 words), they would have to look up quite a lot of new vocabulary.
I need text where the language style is not simplified, only the less common words are replaced by the more common words.

18 Mar 2011     

Bruna Dutra

@Almaz... what I believe Nika meant was: trying to find texts were the grammar construction [perfect tenses, subjunctive, etc.] was "advanced" while dealing with more common/frequent vocabulary... in my personal case, when my students are reading something in English, they tend to be more focused in comprehending the idea as a whole much better if they find the rest of the vocabulary easy and familiar to them... and that thought is not helped if they find "hence" instead of "therefore"; "havoc" when a usual "riot" does the job; "rebuff" as a pompous "reject".

Learning new vocabulary is part of the deal, but it īd be good to have some grammar practice in a text without the interference that rich vocabulary and the nuance of close synonyms can bring to the vivacity of the scene, but not for the grammar usage comprehension of someone still learning the language.

Anyways... I īm not trying to speak for Moravc, but that īs my thought.

EDIT: @Nika... we posted at the same time. Wink

18 Mar 2011     


18 Mar 2011     

Czech Republic

Thank you Bruna, that īs exactly what I meant! Are you reading my thoughts? :-D

I still remember the joy of reading unabridged detective stories by Dick Francis for the very first time. But it would be too difficult for the students. Some students seem to have problems with remembering a lot of new vocabulary so they enjoy reading texts with words they had mastered a long time ago. It also helps them to read more because they find the reading easy to comprehend and enjoy it to the top. :-D

18 Mar 2011     

Czech Republic

@teresapr thanks a lot! Looks fantastic!

@apayala - looks interesting too, thank you!

@almaz - this is how the graded readers are written - the style of writing is a little bit boring.
It was a bright sunny morning the week before Christmas. Grandma Burns was knitting busily. The snow was deep and its crust shone like silver. Suddenly she heard sad sights outside her door. She opened the door and there was Peter and Jimmy Rice, two very poor little boys. Their faces were in their hands and they were crying.

This is the very same text written for native speakers of English:

Grandma Burns sat knitting busily in the sun one bright morning the week before Christmas. The snow lay deep, and the hard crust glistened like silver. All at once she heard little sighs of grief outside her door. When she opened it there sat Peter and Jimmy Rice, two very poor little boys, with their faces in their hands; and they were crying.

IMHO the second version is more enjoyable, the story "flows" smoothly, the sentences are complex...

18 Mar 2011