Friday, October 2, 2015

Elena Hartwell & No Talking Dogs Press: The Interview Part I

As I head off to the Tri-TESOL conference to present No Talking Dogs: Easy Literature for Adults, I am pleased to share an interview with Elena Hartwell on Arc of a Writer. Elena began her interview with a question about writing easy novels for adults learning to read English. It was a pleasure to explain the work Pamela Hobart Carter and I have done through No Talking Dogs Press.

The Interview Part I

You write novels for adults learning English as a new language. How did you get started in that genre and how is that different from writing traditional novels?
I've been teaching English as a Second Language since I was a resident assistant at a private language institute housed on the Seattle University campus back in the early 1970s. This fall quarter marks my third decade w­­orking with immigrants and refugees at South Seattle College. Through the years I've taught all levels and skill areas from low beginners to college prep. 
For the past decade or so I taught the intermediate to upper levels. Not being a fan of most texts written for ESL instruction, I used Young Adult fiction. A few years back, I moved into the lower levels and YA was no longer an option. It was just too difficult. I needed books written at a first or second grade reading level that weren't picture books full of talking animals and the like. One day I was whining to my writing partner, Pamela Hobart Carter, about my struggles to find appropriate reading materials for my adult students. Her response: "I'll write one for you!" And, of course, I figured if she could do it, I could too!
Long story short ... READ MORE!

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