Monday, January 19, 2015

Promoting Reading in WL Classroom

This week's Question of the Week asks how teachers promote reading in the target language. Here's what our teachers had to say:

Spanish Sundries:
I like to encourage students to read in the target language by engaging them in reading activities that are appropriate to their level AND interesting. I have had a lot of success using infographics as reading activities for all levels of student. You can read more about using infographics in the classroom in this blog article.

Get reading activities (novice, novice-high, and intermediate available) to accompany infographics here.

The World Language Cafe:

Create a Reading Library:
At all the schools where I have taught, I have started a reading library either in my classroom or on a rolling cart to be shared within the department. You can purchase the books through various sites (,, scholastic – great collection of books in Spanish). Sometimes, you can get your department or school to pay for the books and the cart. We shared a cart within our World Language Department and had a clipboard to sign the cart out for class periods. I applied for grants through the school’s education foundation to purchase the books. We use the books in a variety of ways:

1. After tests and quizzes, students had the option to start their homework (for my class) or to have free reading time. The students like reading the books because many are the same books that they read when they were kids. This is also a great way to challenge your top students.

2. Read books out loud to practice pronunciation. Student pronunciation improves dramatically when they read aloud.

3. For extra credit, have students take a book home and make a glossary for all the difficult words in the book. They should organize the words alphabetically, type and double space them in a small font, and hand them in for you to check. Correct them, and have the students resubmit the final copies. Tape them in the back of the book so that students can search for the meanings of difficult words in the glossary.

4. Have advanced students read books to younger students. They can practice reading the book out loud using animated voices, use props to help explain the meaning of the story, and teach students gestures for common words in the book. When the younger students hear the common words, they can do the gestures as well. Have the advanced students practice a few times before they read.

This Reading Library is one of the ideas from my 50 Games and Activities to Spice Up Your Classroom product (also available in French or World Language).

Señora Speedy:
We've been writing collaborative class books in kindergarten and are getting ready to write another one in first grade. Kids are writing, reading, and connecting with the target language. After we read the finished product in class I send it back with them to their homeroom where they can add it to their class library and read it again and again. 

I use student choice to allow my students to explore the topics that interest then. Many of the students choose sports and read articles on espndeportes or they can choose to read about celebrity gossip, fashion, animals, movies, or anything else that interests them. Read more in my blog post.

I have my Spanish 3 students read the daily news from online newspapers & networks. Dos Mundos (bilingual) newspaper is great!

1 comment:

  1. One thing I do at my level (K-4) is to start building a sight word bank by having the printed word visible at all times and encourage students to interact with words regularly and frequently. Everything is labeled in my classroom, with different bulletin boards and spaces on the wall featuring groups of words we use often (greetings, leave takings, emotions, expressions of courtesy, fruits, colors, foods, various animals and more)- the walls are our picture dictionary :). I utilize a number of strategies from the regular reading classroom to build and reinforce early literacy skills in my students, such as looking at the first letter, look at the picture, sound it out (where appropriate!), think about what would make sense, and so on. These early emerging literacy skills pave the way for greater literacy in middle school.
    And of course, we read our Mundo de Pepita books!!!!! :)


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