Professional Development

Pleasure Reading

If you are going to ACTFL this weekend, please stop by and say hi. I will be at the Teachers Discovery booth on Friday from 10am until 11am and again from 11:45am until 1pm. You will have a chance to get a sneak-peak at my new book, “Pleasure Reading in the World Language Classroom“, a book that I have been working on for about two years now. I will be back on Saturday from 10 to 11am and 3:30 to 4:30pm. Take a look at the table of contents below; I poured my heart into this book to help teachers effectively balance whole class reading activities with a strong free choice reading program (click on graphic below to enlarge the table of contents):

If you are not going to ACTFL you can still download the ebook! Available now!!! Prefer a paper version? Order the paper version from Teacher´s Discovery.

I am also teaming up with Chicago teacher Sean Lawler to participate in two roundtable conversations about teaching heritage learners. The round table sessions are small — limited to ten people — and are meant to stimulate conversations around our presentation. Our first conversation, on Friday from 2 to 2:45, is titled “Your Heritage Learners Think You Are Weird (Probably)”. Non-native speaking (NNS) teachers often struggle to establish their own authority with heritage learners. Typically non-native teachers are drawn into an unending struggle to validate their own language usage. While they struggle to establish their own expertise in the eyes of students, NNS teachers lose the opportunity to validate the experiences and family culture of their students. The presenters have found that explicitly discussing the concept of language community with students has changed this dynamic. Diversity of Spanish language dialects is not simply an expression of regionalism but also of ethnic and class boundaries. Students from vulnerable, migrant populations often speak “lower prestige” dialects. Students must first feel secure that their own language community is valued and respected; then they are better prepared to interact with “the other”. The session presents five ways to expand students’ language community while validating their home language dialects.

Our second roundtable session, on Saturday from 8am to 8:45, focuses on specific issues you might encounter when starting an independent reading program with heritage language learners. While reading is essential to develop heritage learners language skills, it is just as important to develop their identities as lifelong readers so that they continue to develop their skills long after the course has ended. An independent reading program is not simply about developing language skills; it develops lifelong habits. The presenters explore ten research-based characteristics of effective independent reading programs and contrast each one with common classroom practices that undermine reading programs.

Finally I will be working with the CI Posse at their booth in the exhibition hall, which is right next to the Señor Wooly booth. I will present in the CI Posse booth on a variety of browsing strategies so that your students explore your pleasure reading library rather than just grabbing the first book at hand! I will also demonstrate creating One Word Images and will host a sneak preview of my newest novel, Meche y las ballenas. See the CI Posse schedule for all of the other awesome things happening at the CI Posse booth throughout the day. Why bother going to the sessions, just hang out in the booth with us!!

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