Here's how I think you should use this book.



First, read a story. Any story. Simply pick one and read the whole damn thing just to see what it's about. Don't pay too much attention to the vocabulary. (This is the easy part.)

Remember, it's better to read one fine story a dozen times than a dozen different texts once. I'm speaking from experience here—I told each of these stories at least three times in my classes myself (after spending countless hours preparing them) and I reread each a few more times while putting this book together. It took all this effort for most of those fun/useful phrases to sink in and become part of my English.


Next, reread the same story, very closely, one or two paragraphs at a time. Pay a lot of attention to the language this time rather than the storyline. Focus on the underlined bits in particular.

This particular phase takes a while. In fact, it will probably take up more time and effort than all the other activities combined. Slow and thorough does it. Fast and superficial—not so much. Covering 3-4 paragraphs at a time is plenty good enough.

Pause at each bold bit and take the Rule of Three test:
a) do I use this phrase/grammar in my English?
b) if not, what do I use (most likely incorrectly) instead?
c) how do I fix this, ie. how do I make this part of my English?

While you're at it, highlight away. But—only highlight things that you know you'll have a hard time learning or ones that you feel you really need to know. Otherwise there'll be too many highlights, defying the purpose.

Also, write in notes. Underline stuff. Make the book look used. Own it. Whatever helps you learn is fair game.

OUT LOUD: Read each paragraph out loud multiple times, pretending like you're standing in front of a class, desperately trying to stop them throwing things your way. Better yet, do this in front of a class.

REFRESH: Every time you open the book, before you start reading, spend a minute or two just randomly looking at some old highlights (asking yourself: would I be able to use this one now? how come this one totally slipped my mind? I'd better spend some more time on this sucker.). Trust me, it works miracles.


Tread lightly and don't expect miracles. Not all of these stories are suitable for straightforward telling. Sure, some are, but others work better on paper (ie. when assigned for homework as fill-outs.

Things can go wrong in a number of ways in class. Your students may not find these stories as entertaining as you or I do. Or you may be a lousy teacher who couldn't sell a candy bar to a fat kid. What I'm saying is, a good story is not the guarantee of a good lesson.

You will find specific hints, tips, pointers and guides in Book of English Vol. 2.


Pick up. Hold in both hands. Shake head ruefully. Wipe tears off face. Place delicately among trash. Observe minute of silence. Go crush more stuff.