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Opening Doors: Understanding College Reading by Janet Elder, ISBN-13: 978-0073513515




  • Format: PDF
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 7th edition (January 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • 864 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0073513512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073513515


This new edition of Opening Doors contains more practice exercises. The new Checkpoint feature allows students to gain experience and practice with skills before they move to the Test Your Understanding sections. Ten new Essential Skills Review Tests (at the back of the book) allow students to apply multiple skills to 3- to 5-paragraph passages. Extensive and varied exercises accompany every reading selection in Opening Doors to prepare students to read the selection and, afterward, give them opportunities to apply comprehension, vocabulary, and study skills.

Designed to help students who read at a precollege level to move into college level reading, the seventh edition of Opening Doors: Understanding College Reading teaches a systematic way of approaching college textbook material. While the scope of this book is broad, the focus is on the most crucial skill for successful college reading: comprehension. Comprehension skills are introduced early in the text and are integrated throughout the subsequent chapters. This enables students not only to learn the skills but also to practice extensively with them. Although Opening Doors is designed for developmental readers, we continue to use primarily college textbook excerpts and other materials of the type students are likely to encounter in their content-area courses. We present selections that not only are interesting and appropriate but also help students expand their knowledge base in a variety of academic subjects and on a variety of topics. Effective teaching hinges on providing the delicate balance between challenge and support. Some selections may be a slight stretch for students. This is intentional: It provides the opportunity for growth. With coaching and guidance from the instructor, students can comprehend the selections. They appreciate dealing with college-level material; they know it is what they will encounter in their other college courses. This type of practice enables them to transfer skills to other courses and gain the confidence that comes from experience.

JOE CORTINA earned his B.A. degree in English from San Diego State University and his master’s degree and doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in reading from the University of North Texas. He has taught undergraduate teacher education courses in reading at the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University. In 1981 he was selected to represent the Dallas County Community College District as a nominee for the Piper Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition, Dr. Cortina was selected as his division’s nominee for Richland’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1987, 1988 and 1993. In 1992 he was selected as an honored alumnus by the Department of Elementary, Early Childhood and Reading Education, of the University of North Texas and in 1994 he was a recipient of an Excellence Award given by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. In addition to teaching reading courses at Richland College, he has served on interdisciplinary teaching teams for honors English courses and has served as a faculty leader of Richland’s writing-across-the-curriculum program. Dr. Cortina has served on the conference program committees for both the College Reading and Learning Association and the National Association for Developmental Education. He has also served as a member of the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. He is a frequent speaker at professional meetings and inservice workshops.

JANET ELDER was graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin with a B.A. in English and Latin. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was the recipient of a government fellowship for Southern Methodist University’s Reading Research Program, which resulted in a master’s degree. Her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in reading is from Texas Woman’s University where the College of Education presented her the Outstanding Dissertation Award. She established the first comprehensive secondary reading program in the Dallas Independent School District, and has conducted extensive staff development training for Dallas area teachers. After teaching reading and study skills courses at Richland for several years, she was asked to develop and implement an honors program for the college. After coordinating the honors program during its first six years, she resumed teaching full time. In addition to teaching reading courses, Dr. Elder periodically serves on interdisciplanary teaching teams for honors English and humanities courses. She has served on a task force that re-evaluated Richland’s writing-across-the-curriculum program. She has twice received the Extra Mile Award from special services (disabilities) students, has twice been her division’s Piper Award nominee for excellence in teaching, and in 1993 received an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. In 1999 she was one of three nominees for Richland’s Excellence in Teaching Award. A frequent presenter at professional conferences and inservice workshops, she has a deep interest and expertise in “brain friendly” instruction.


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