“Perhaps the most powerful way of encouraging children to read is to expose them to light reading, a kind of reading that schools pretend does not exist, a kind of reading that many children, for economic or ideological reasons, are deprived of. I suspect that light reading is the way nearly all of us learned to read.”
Stephen Krashen, The Power of Reading, p. 92.
All too often we forget about light reading. School is serious stuff and we need to focus on serious literature and serious authors, right? Well, yes, but there is another form of reading that will actually help our students achieve fluency. It is relatively painless. Kids like it. It easy on the teacher. It is self-differentiating. It encourages life-long learning. It also helps students on high-stakes, state-mandated testing. So we usually ignore light reading and press on with worksheets. Why?
This year I am making a push towards light reading at all levels in my Spanish classes. The results have been mixed, but I am learning a lot. As I plug through this relatively new teaching landscape, I am learning what works and what doesn’t and I would like to share the up and downs.