Some of my Spanish III students are upset about their Light Reading assignments (available on the Free Stuff page of this website at: http://www.brycehedstrom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/LIGHT-READING-BOOK-REPORTS.pdf). It seems to me that their objections go to the core of the Acquisition/Learning issue, so I want to address them carefully. The biggest problem seems to be that students think they should be reading hard stuff, but they don’t–the assignment is to read a novel in Spanish (pretty much any novel) that is understandable and appealing to them.
All students in Spanish III classes are required to choose one novel to read outside of class every month. The novel must be in Spanish and they need to discuss their choices with me, but those are about the only parameters. I repeat over and over that they can pick what they want, but it needs to be both interesting and comprehensible to them. Most students are doing well with the reading–they are enjoying the freedom of reading novels of their own choosing. But now that they see that the grade for this assignment is an important factor in their overall grade, some students are beginning to voice their concerns more forcefully. Here are some comments:
“I need to have things spelled out like teacher X does, not just read.”
“I learn better with conjugation charts and vocabulary lists that I can just memorize.”
”I can’t understand anything that I read in Spanish on my own.”
“I don’t like ANY of the books you have in your classroom, señor.”
Convincing these students is going to be a challenge. I want them to willingly get into reading in Spanish and enjoy it, but I fear that they may have be deeply infected with the ”school boy virus.” This is the infection that is spread […]