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A word from the Series Editor
Dear Teachers

I am sure you and your students have discovered that some stories, written in short, simple words, might look easy but they can sometimes be hard (even impossible) to understand. Everything depends on the way those simple-looking words are used.

The syllabus for Oxford Progressive English Readers (OPER) says that words that look simple must be used in a way that students understand.

How can we be sure that this really happens? Well, first, every OPER text is electronically checked to ensure that words likely to be unfamiliar are kept to a minimum; we permit no more, on average, than one unfamiliar word per page. Then each text is carefully read through a number of times, to make sure that hidden difficulties, where familiar-looking words have been used in unfamiliar ways, are kept to a minimum, too. 'Unfamiliar', in this sense, means, of course: any usage that is not known by most of the students for whom the book is intended. We also ask students to read our stories before we publish them, and we take note of any difficulties they tell us about.

Problem words and expressions are dealt with in one of two ways. Wherever possible they are replaced with easier words, or they are just eliminated. Where not, we have written clues into the text or provided an accompanying picture, to help students realize the intended meaning.

If you choose an OPER text that matches the ability of your class, your students should discover that the stories are easy to understand. They should find them enjoyable, too. In fact, we hope that students who use OPER will want to read ahead of class schedules, and even enjoy some of the titles entirely on their own. OPER have been designed with that possibility in mind.

All this applies to our latest development, the OPER Starter level texts, just as much as to the other titles in the series.

We hope our efforts have been worthwhile, and that you and your classes will find OPER fun to work with and a useful aid in the development of your students' English language skills.

David Foulds
Syllabus Designer and Series Editor

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