We have 17 classes of enthusiastic Spanish learners. Living in a community with a low percentage of Spanish-speakers (less than 3%) gives us a lot of motivation to help our students see the world beyond their school. All four of our Spanish teachers have started using Comprehensible Input this year with fantastic results! Our kids are listening to and reading Spanish every day for the majority of the class period. They love learning more about the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and being able to communicate about themselves and their lives in authentic ways. We are excited to be leading them on their journey towards proficiency!
Spanish teachers at my school are so excited about introducing our students to free reading time in class. We have read some of the easy readers already as a whole class in levels 1, 2, and 3, but we know that when students are able to make their own choices about what to read and are able to choose books that meet their interests and reading levels, they will have the motivation necessary to acquire more Spanish and gain confidence in their abilities.
Linguist and researcher Stephen Krashen explains that "There is massive evidence that self-selected reading, or reading what you want to read, is responsible for most of our literacy development." As language learners ourselves, we understand first hand the power that individual silent sustained reading can have on acquiring vocabulary and language structures.
We plan to create an environment in which students can expect to come to class each day with ten minutes set aside to silently read and enjoy books of their choice. After attending a week-long workshop about Comprehensible Input in the world language classroom in June 2018, our Spanish teachers are convinced that these books could make the single biggest difference in our students' language abilities.
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