Reading in a Foreign Language

Free Voluntary Reading & Differentiation

Over the last three weeks students in my Spanish I classes have been reading self-selected novellas a couple of days a week in class. They chose the books themselves and self-differentiated based on their reading ability and interests. Even though students self-select reading material in my class all of the time, enforcing the idea of choosing something based on comprehensibility and interest is a continual challenge because the idea of reading what you want seems odd for students in school. To support the idea of “comprehensible and interesting” I almost daily highlight the poster I made and posted above the [...]

By | February 12th, 2015|Differentiation, Light Reading, Reading|0 Comments


A new story for level I is up on the Free Stuff page. Get a pdf of it here. This is a fun little story that grew out of practicing the words "opens" and "shuts" with novel commands. the document includes tips to help teachers learn how to grow a similar story with their students.      

By | December 15th, 2014|Reading, Teacher Tips, Teacher Training|0 Comments


David writes about reading "authentic resources" Bryce, I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to see your Readicide presentation at NTPRS this year, though I did look at it online. I really enjoyed your presentations on reading last year. I had a question that I thought you might be able to help me with. In my school we are moving the way of ACFTL and there is an (unhealthy, in my mind) focus on "authentic resources" which are created by authors in the target language for an audience in the target language.  My issue is that the comprehensiblity of [...]

By | August 30th, 2014|Issues in Second Language Education, Reading|0 Comments


My Spanish I students have just finished reading their second independent novel (See the reflections from their first novel here: Once again, they chose a novel they wanted to read. The only constraints were that it be interesting and comprehensible to them. I have to repeat that idea a lot. Students have done plenty of regular self-selected independent reading in class between the first novel reading assignment in November and this one, so they are beginning to get the hang of it, despite the fact that our national school system is attempting to beat the notion of reading for [...]

By | March 13th, 2014|Acquisition, Differentiation, Light Reading, Reading|2 Comments


I have asked my Spanish I students to do Light Reading in the first semester this year. In the past, only students in levels 2-AP were required to pick a novel and read it that early, but this year the novices were included. Most of these students are 9th graders and most have not had any Spanish before. I provided them with a variety of materials and time to read, and we all sat and read in class. They were allowed to choose anything they wanted as long as it was comprehensible and interesting to them. I explained the “comprehensible” [...]


Part of our weekly routine in Spanish I classes is to do regular free reading.  This is classical Sustained Silent Reading where students select the materials they want to read and then we all sit down and read for 10 minutes.  We do this 2-3 times per week in every class. We do this because students acquire when they are exposed to language that is comprehensible and interesting.  We have been working on high frequency words and familiar topics in our discussions and stories in class and I wanted to see what they could pick up on their own with no help. A couple of [...]

By | October 4th, 2013|Acquisition, Acquisition vs. Learning, Reading|0 Comments