curriculum EFL eikaiwa ES extensive reading kids language courses phonics readers Reading reviews teaching
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Bob Books are a great low-cost option for schools that want to start phonics practice with students but don’t have the funds available for more extensive purchases.
The newest version consists of five sets (each containing twelve books), which are available from Amazon.co.jp for just over 1200 yen. As this works out at just over 100 yen per book, they are excellent value for money. There are also older versions that contain similar books in slightly different configurations with different names.
We bought our Bob’s Books quite a few years ago, and used them until we found Follifoot Farm. We haven’t really used them since.
My thoughts on the series:
1. the phonics progression is handled quite well, and they are decodable
2. the language used in the books is not graded, making them somewhat challenging for EFL students at times
3. they feel quite cheap, being printed on thinner paper in black and white
4. the pictures are simple line drawings
5. I feel the stories are not particularly inspired, and many of them are driven solely by the phonics rather than the story itself
In short, these are a cheap and relatively effective option. They are certainly better than nothing, but they are not in the same league as Follifoot Farm. If you can’t afford anything else, they will at least get your students reading.
Anyone else use Bob Books?