Groundwork for College Reading, 5/e

Groundwork for College Reading, 5/e

Product details

  • Author: John Langan
  • SKU/ISBN: 978-1-59194-472-0
  • Year: 2016
  • Page count: 532
  • Reading level: 5-8
  • Lexile Level: 850L
  • Weight: 1.75 lb
  • Availability: In stock
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Featuring major chapter additions, freshened content, and enhanced visual appeal, this revised edition of Groundwork for College Reading is ideal for students and adult learners in a very basic developmental reading or ESL course.

Educators, you may request a free desk copy here.

More information

Key Features 


Focus on the basics.  The book seeks to explain, in an extremely clear, step-by-step way, the essential elements of each skill. Many examples are provided to ensure that students understand each point. In general, the focus is on teaching the skills—not just on explaining them and not just on testing them.

Frequent practice and feedback.  In the belief that progress is made largely through abundant practice and careful feedback, this book includes numerous activities. Students can get immediate feedback on the practice exercises in Part One by turning to the limited answer key at the back of the book. The answers to the review and mastery tests in Part One, the reading questions in Part Two, and the combined-skills tests in Part Three are in the Instructor’s Manual.

The limited answer key increases the active role that students take in their own learning. (Answers not in the book can be easily copied from the Instructor’s Edition or the Instructor’s Manual and passed out at the teacher’s discretion.)

High interest level.  Dull and unvaried readings and exercises work against learning. Students need to experience genuine interest and enjoyment in what they read. Teachers as well should be able to take pleasure in the selections, for their own good feeling about them can carry over favorably into class work. The readings in the book, then, have been chosen not only for the appropriateness of their reading level but also for their compelling content. They should appeal to a wide range of students—developmental students, students for whom English is a second language, and Adult Basic Education students. They also take into account the diverse backgrounds of such students.

Ease of use.  The logical sequence in each chapter—from explanation to example to practice to review tests to mastery tests—helps make the skills easy to teach. The book’s organization into distinct parts also makes for ease of use. Within a single class, for instance, instructors can work on a particular skill in Part One, review another skill with a mastery test, and provide variety by having students read one of the selections in Part Two. The limited answer key at the back of the book also makes for versatility: it means that an instructor can assign parts of each chapter for self-teaching. Finally, the mastery tests—each on its own tear-out page—and the combined-skills tests make it a simple matter for a teacher to test and evaluate student progress.

Integration of skills.  Students do more than learn the skills individually in Part One. They also learn to apply the skills together through the reading selections in Parts One and Two, and through the combined-skills tests in Part Three. They become effective readers and thinkers by means of a good deal of practice in applying a combination of skills.

Thinking activities.  Thinking activities—in the form of outlining, mapping, and summarizing—are a distinctive feature of the book. In addition, four discussion questions at the end of each reading selection encourage student reflection, as do the writing activities that are provided for each selection.

(NEW) Available electronic resourcesTen Steps Plus is a subscription-based digital suite of exercises, mastery tests, assessments, and instructional videos; a Skills Bank; a Readings Bank; and eBooks* of the entire Ten Steps Series and more than 100 Townsend Library titlesNote: Students must have a paid subscription to access Ten StepsPlus materials.  Click here to learn more about subscription options, including discounted digital/textbook bundles.   

* eBooks are not included with Ten Steps Plus LE (Limited Edition).


Other eBook options. An eBook of this text comes with a subscription to Ten Steps Plus and will be available inside the Townsend Press Learning Center. An eBook is also available from the following vendors: YuzuChegg, and VitalSource.

Changes in the Fifth Edition


• A full-color design. Color has been carefully used throughout, not as window dressing but to add clarity and readability to the different parts of the book.


• Enhanced cartoons and other graphics. Because so many students today are visual learners, over fifty illustrations have been added to help introduce or reinforce points made in the book.


• New readings. Four new readings have been added to the book. In addition, five other readings have been updated.


• Five relationships tests have been added to strengthen students’ reading and thinking skills.


• Added combined-skills tests.


• An expanded offer for free books.


• And a freshening of practice materials throughout.


 Ten Steps Plus, an enhanced collection of digital resources, can be purchased in a bundle with this book at a significant discount. 

Table of Contents


Preface: To the Instructor

How to Become a Better Reader and Thinker

Part One 
Ten Steps to College Reading 

1     Getting Started
        Reading: A Parent Gets a Reading Lesson    Lucia Herndon
        Mastery Tests

2     Dictionary Use  
        Reading: Discovering Words    Malcolm X
        Mastery Tests

3     Vocabulary in Context
        Reading: One Less Sucker Lives    Jeanne R. Smith 
        Mastery Tests
4     Main Ideas
        Reading: Classroom Notetaking    Robin White
        Mastery Tests

5     Supporting Details 
        Reading: Winning the Job Interview Game    Marcia Prentergast 
        Mastery Tests
6     Finding Main Ideas
        Reading: Learning Survival Skills    Jean Coleman
        Mastery Tests
7     Signal Words I
        Reading: Migrant Child to College Woman    Maria Cardenas 
        Mastery Tests

8     Signal Words II
        Reading: Life Over Death    Bill Broderick
        Mastery Tests

9     Inferences 
        Reading: Dare to Think Big    Dr. Ben Carson
        Mastery Tests
10   The Basics of Argument 
        Reading: The Shocking State of the American Diet    Adam Taylor 
        Mastery Tests

Part Two
Ten Reading Selections 

  1. Learning to Read: The Marvel Kretzmann Story    Mary Sherry
  2. The Blind Vet    Gail Hoffman
  3. The Fist, the Clay, and the Rock    Donald Holland
  4. It's Not My Fault    Roger Kennedy  
  5. Joe Davis: A Cool Man     Beth Johnson
  6. Rosa: A Success Story    Edward Patrick
  7. The Lady, or the Tiger?    Frank R. Stockton
  8. Dawn's Story    Nancy Kerns
  9. Knowledge Is Power    Anna-Maria Petricic
  10. What I Believe    John Langan

Part Three
Relationships and Combined Skills

  1. Relationship Tests
  2. Combined Skills Tests


        Pronunciation Guide 
        Writing Assignments
        Limited Answer Key 
Reading Performance Chart

Supplementary Materials

Print Supplement


Like all Ten Steps texts, this edition features an annotated Instructor’s Editionwhich is identical to the student book except that it provides answers to all the practices and tests. In addition, the Instructor's Edition includes useful hints for teachers as well instructive annotation to help scaffold lessons. No other book on the market has such detailed and helpful annotations.


Digital Supplements


1. A downloadable Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank includes suggestions for teaching, a model syllabus, and readability levels for the text and the reading selections. The test bank contains four additional mastery tests for each of the skills chapters in Part I—all on letter-sized sheets so they can be copied easily for use with students. This resource is available to all instructors in the Learning Center


2. Downloadable PowerPoint presentations have been crafted to teach key skills and concepts directly to students. These PowerPoints are available free to instructors in the Learning Center


3. Ten Steps Plus is a powerful subscription-based collection of digital resources for your college reading or college readiness program. Based on the acclaimed pedagogy of the Ten Steps SeriesTen Steps Plus is a digital suite of exercises, mastery tests, assessments, and instructional videos; a Skills Bank; a Readings Bank; and eBooks* of the entire Ten Steps Series and more than 100 Townsend Library titlesNoteStudents must have a paid subscription to access Ten Steps Plus materials.  Click here to learn more about subscription options, including discounted digital/textbook bundles.  

* eBooks are not included with Ten Steps Plus LE (Limited Edition). 


To Obtain Supplements


Print supplements can be obtained quickly by calling Townsend Press (1-800-772-6410), by sending a fax on school letterhead to 1-800-225-8894, or by e-mailing Customer Service at cs@townsendpress.comDigital supplements are free to educators with a valid instructor account in the Learning Center. Get yours here