My students are excited, enthusiastic learners! As many of them are first-generation immigrants from all over the world, they are learning Spanish as a second, third, or fourth language. They are such hard workers—determined to make their families and themselves proud. They make me proud every day.
In the past two years, I have watched most of them go from speaking little or no Spanish to reading and writing essays in the target language.
They are ready for a challenge. And I would love to be able to provide them new materials to keep them engaged!
Understanding a foreign language is not hard. But it does take work! Students need to "play" with the language: hear it, speak it, write it, and of course: READ IT! But most traditional Spanish texts and textbooks are very short and/or rather boring for students. These books—about a disastrous "Sweet 15" quinceañera and the hidden messages within Picasso's most famous works—have just the right amount of intrigue, gossip, and action that my students will LOVE! This will certainly be a game-changer for my classroom.
There is something to be said about the feeling of pride and sense of accomplishment that comes from FINISHING a full-length novel.
I want my students to realize that nothing is off-limits, even as language learners. I want them to know that they CAN read "real novels," even as beginners. And I want them to feel proud of themselves when they finish one so that they have the confidence to pick up another book later!
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