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Use of Text Sets

What are text sets?

A text set is a collection of materials, composed of diverse resources on a specific subject matter, genre, or theme. Text sets can include information from online sources or can be print-based. A good text set offers materials at various reading levels (adapted from Lent, 2012[1]).


Why do we teach with text sets?

By selecting texts of various genres and different forms, teachers provide multiple ways for students to get the information they need, in the format that best suits them.  If students cannot read (or are simply not interested in) the traditional English textbook, offering them other opportunities to access the same content will enrich their learning.  For instance, while a struggling primary four student may not be able to comprehend the food pyramid presented in a typical English textbook, he or she might love watching a video clip on making a healthy dish. 


The main reason for using text sets rather than textbooks and worksheets is to support an enquiry model that will:

  • ​stimulate students’ intellectual curiosity and interest in reading;
  • enhance students’ exposure and literacy development;
  • validate each student’s developmental level; 
  • facilitate inter-textual connection; 
  • deepen conceptual understanding; 
  • enhance the interrelatedness of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, thinking; and 
  • provide opportunities for authentic assessment and evaluation.


What are the key features of a text set?

A text set often:

  • consists of authentic and age appropriate texts;
  • includes multimodal and multi-genre texts;
  • provides a range of accessible reading levels;
  • grows in complexity from easy access texts to more difficult; and
  • invites readers to think about the issues from multiple perspectives.


To find out more about 'How do we create a text set unit?' , please click here .

[1] Lent, R. C. (2012). Overcoming textbook fatigue: 21st-century tools to revitalise teaching and learning. Alexandra, VA: ASCD.

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