Reading Strategies for the WL Classroom

   Our World Language standards: so much of what we already do are now “official” Literacy standards across the country. ACTFL published a document about two years ago, aligning the CCSS with the communicative standards we have had in place for a number of years. Click here for this document. World Language teachers, we have been ahead of the game! 😀 

   We all know and understand that READING is a fundamental practice in acquiring vocabulary and target structures than traditional rote memorization/drill practice. With this in mind, how do we as World Language teachers also take on the role of Literacy coaches in our classrooms? How do we navigate through all of the millions of authentic text and select the ones we feel are most beneficial to our novice, intermediate or advanced learners? And finally, what types of strategies can we incorporate to make the process of reading meaningful and valuable for our learners?

    I will be presenting next week in my district’s literacy workshop (#PVRSummerLit) and will be sharing this presentation ( with my small group of attendees. This is information that World Language teachers should be familiar with and continue to practice each time they confront a text of their selection that will be valuable for their students.

    In my presentation, I plan to share on the criteria one needs to consider when selecting a text and of course, locating an accurate source. I created a collaborative document through Google Docs for educators to add to, if they would like, different sources available for either non-fiction or fiction text that they have found to be useful in the target language they teach. In exploring the different sources available, I plan to discuss how the website Pinterest has transformed how I search for materials for Spanish classes. And finally, I plan to have participants model & share different pre, during and after reading strategies as a whole group (many are listed within the presentation above). No matter which text is used, these strategies should be embedded throughout the lesson(s) involving the text. Text examples can be word clouds, comics, train schedules, tickets, info-graphics, memes, Tweets complied (#authres), simple articles, fictional stories, etc. There is so much out there- you just have to simplify and choose what is best suited for your learners. Also, you can transform a “high linguistic” level reading to novice level by using the embedded reading technique by Laurie Clarcq & Michelle Waley. Ultimately, I feel that “units” should be planned around literature and appropriate texts, as opposed to vocabulary lists and grammar points as many traditional textbooks structure their units.  

    I welcome any feedback or comments regarding “reading strategies” that you have used in the World Language classroom and your story on how reading has improved language acquisition in your classrooms. 


3 thoughts on “Reading Strategies for the WL Classroom

  1. Your presentation is thorough and contains great examples. Have you given this presentation at a regional conference or at ACTFL? If not, I suggest you submit a proposal and share this material on a larger scale. It will be useful to many.

    I agree with you that reading is powerful in helping students acquire the language and grammar. It had a great impact on me when I was learning, and even to this day as I read books for pleasure in the target language.

    • Hi Cynthia: Thank you. ACTFL allows each presenter, one presentation only- initially I had submitted three proposals! I will be presenting at ACTFL14 this coming November about “The Power of Pinterest” and will be able to discuss some of the neat text finds thanks to Pinterest and all the educators on there. Hopefully I can continue sharing with other WL educators about reading strategies in the near future! 🙂 Thank you for your comments & support!

  2. Pingback: Brillante Viernes: November 7, 2014 | Maris Hawkins

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