May 6, 2010
A series of books on reading by two professors at Middlesex County College may enhance the teaching of reading on the high school and college level. This innovative series, “Spotlight on Reading” volumes 1-3, builds on the excellent reading program offered by the College’s English Department. It was written by Professors Shirley Wachtel and Helena Swanicke and will be available in the fall. The series is being published by Kendall Hunt.
“We’ve been teaching reading for a long time,” Professor Wachtel said. “We’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. We’ve learned from our colleagues and from our students. Helena and I truly love what we do, and these books are all about helping students – both at Middlesex and at other colleges – succeed.”
The books are engaging and seek to motivate students to read by including profiles of celebrities and sports stars. Students also read and analyze news stories and essays. A special section, “Getting the Picture,” asks them to examine a photo and write about it.
“Spotlight on Reading” includes essays written by Middlesex County College students; the two authors also received input from their faculty colleagues.
Carol Fox, an adjunct professor at Middlesex, was asked to review the books before publication.
“It is a great book,” Professor Fox said. “It is a comprehensive series of reading texts that depicts continuity in the skills necessary for college-level reading. It does so with a connecting,