What is a primer?

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Primers are tools used in teaching reading and writing. Even though a primer is usually designed to be used with a specific literacy method, the primer is not itself a method for teaching reading.


A primer is a book, or series of books, that contains instructional material for teaching reading and writing to beginners or semiliterate learners.


It is normally divided into a series of lessons.

Parts and functions

A primer or primer series typically has several parts with different functions. These parts may be all in one book, may be separated into several books, or may not be books at all.


Here are some typical parts of a primer or primer series:


The design of a primer or primer series will vary depending on

  • the reading and writing program in which it is being used, and
  • the needs of the learners.
See also

Context for this page:

Page content last modified: 16 September 1999

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