Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Leveled Readers for Second Language

I have typically only used leveled readers in the 4th and 5th years of language studies. In the 4th year we have read "El Abuelo ya no Duerme en el Armario" which is available from Scholastic Books. It has nice, manageable chapters so it is excellent for an introduction to reading longer narratives. In 5th year we have read Lazarillo de Tormes, Marianela (my personal favorite) and student additions of Don Quijote.

One of the keys to implementation is to vary the way in which the chapters are read (whole class, small group, partner, individual) and vary the activities (graphic organizers, alternative ending activities, etc). Reading longer books can be daunting for students and is very time consuming. Mixing things up will avoid that "Groundhog Day" feeling.

My absolute favorite to use with higher level Spanish students is "Cuentos con sazón". I stumbled upon this when looking for a reader for my Spanish 5 students. The novel starts off with a family reunion that turns into each relative telling a story about growing up in various Hispanic cultures. It combines culture, food, morals, and humor to create a great reader. My students read, discuss, and act out the book. For their end of year project, they write their own chapter including a moral, a famous festival in the country of their choice, and of course, advanced grammar. If anyone is interested, I could put together a packet of resources for it. My students loved it! Email me at worldlanguagecafe@gmail.com if you're interested.
For French, I love Le Petit Nico and the readings in Trésor du temps (history based French text).

Monday, February 2, 2015


This week's question of the week is about grades. A user asked "How do you weight your grades? Do you assign a certain percentage of the grade towards homework, classwork, tests, etc?"
Here are how some Foreign Language teacher's answered: