Cousins: Koala & Wombat

New in September 2014


This is not merely another pretty book about cute, cuddly Australian marsupials.  It has some basic evolutionary and environmental information, as well as many less well-known details of the physical and behavioural characteristics of these fascinating animals.  

There are reading texts at our usual three levels of linguistic difficulty.  In the Easy level text we have experimented by using the Dyslexie font, which has been designed to help people with reading difficulties.  (See  We would appreciate feedback from teachers on this font.

There is a Workbook with teachers' notes, additional background information, a bibliography, photocopiable stimulus pictures, patterns for koala and wombat hand puppets and exercises to reinforce the comprehension, vocabulary and language features of the three reading texts. (We have also used the Dyslexie font in the Easy level exercises.)

In addition the package also inlcudes our usual sound CD on which the three texts are read slowly and clearly by Lyndal Reid, a very experienced Australian ESL teacher.  Lyndal wrote the words and arranged the music for a Koala & Wombat song.  The song is performed twice by Lyndal, George Buwali and Dorothy Court, the first time "lined" very slowly and then sung straight through once at a slightly faster pace.

George, Dorothy & Lyndal with koala puppet
at the book launch, which preceded the QCAL AGM
at new premises of theThe Language People bookshop, 
93 Boundary St, West End, 4101

(This is now essentially an on-line business 
However, Carmelina is happy to let customers browse through her stock 
if they contact her first to arrange a time. 

Review by Gae Nastasi in QATESOL Newsletter, Sept. 2014, reprinted with permission.(QATESOL is Qld Association for teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages see
Gae is Head of Special Education Services (EAL/D) at a Brisbane High School with a large EAL/D enrolment

New Resource - Cousins: Koala and Wombat

Local ESL/Adult Literacy publishers, Sugarbag on Damper, have released their latest resource - Cousins: Koala and Wombat.  Like their previous publications, Cousins: Koala and Wombat features an information text suitable for use with both children and adults.

What makes this a truly useful resource is that it is written at three levels of linguistic difficulty: easy, medium and hard.  This allows the resource to be used as a resource for differentiation, even within the same classroom.

Another way of using this text is as layered reading - a technique which can help to improve a student's reading and which has been trialled successfully by some of my staff members.  Put simply, the student is given a number of texts on the same topic and with the same information, ranging from simple to more complex to difficult. Students read these texts, starting with the easiest and progressing through the levels of complexity. This allows students to grasp the main ideas while helping them to deal with increased complexity. Cousins: Koala and Wombat, with its three levels is ideal for this kind of reading activity. 

Sugarbag on Damper's resource also includes a workbook (including exercises, teacher's notes and answers) and a CD, with the three texts read aloud and a song composed and sung by Lyndal Reid, George Buwali and Dorothy Court.

Hazel Davidson and Dorothy Court have again produced an excellent resource which can be used by ESL teachers in primary, secondary or the adult sectors, as well as in Adult Literacy.