Reading FAQ, by Frank Smith What It’s About: A lifetime of research, thinking and writing about reading distilled into one short book. This book answers the questions we all have about reading and a few that we haven’t even known to ask. This is another book that is not about language teaching but gives language teachers the oomph to get their students reading more. Quotable Quotes: “We remember things best when they are organized with everything else we know, when they come with stories attached, rather than as isolated bits of information.” p. 45 “First someone reads to us, then [...]

By | January 17th, 2016|Categories: Books, Reading|Tags: |0 Comments


Social, by Matthew Lieberman What It’s About: Explains the how our brains are made to connect with one another and some stunning implications of recent brain research, particularly in education. Not about language learning, but has important ideas that apply to teaching language. Quotable Quotes: “70 percent of the content in our conversations is social in nature.” p. 20 “Food, water and shelter are NOT the most basic needs for an infant. Instead, being socially connected and cared for is paramount… this restructuring of Maslow’s pyramid tells us something critical about ‘who we are’. Love and belonging might seem like [...]

By | January 16th, 2016|Categories: Books, Teacher Tips|Tags: , |0 Comments


Here are some questions by Karen O., a Spanish 1 & 2 teacher that is starting a free reading program at her school. Hello Bryce, I just read How to Prevent Readicide NTPRS 2012 and your other handouts on Light Reading specifically for levels 1 and 2. Thank you so much for sharing them. Here are my questions: 1. Do you have kids do a Light Reading novel before or after an Academic Reading novel? Or does it matter? I have kids do free reading for a couple of months before they read a novel for a Light Reading Book Report. I barely [...]


NEW NOVEL in Spanish by Ginni Hildebrandt! Available at "Soy Lorenzo" is a compelling story that is perfect for Spanish 2 & 3, novice-mid/novice-high readers and heritage language readers. Order it here. The indigenous lore of Nicaragua’s Miskito coast is the setting for this captivating coming-­of-­age story. Desperate to break free of the limits of his village, Lorenzo finds himself entwined in the legends of his ancestors’ sacred knowledge. This irresistible  story will engage your students and spark discussions on a variety of culturally authentic topics and current events. It has been classroom tested and is written by a [...]

By | October 10th, 2015|Categories: Compelling Input, Reading, Uncategorized|Tags: , |0 Comments


“I don’t know how one develops imagination without reading fiction”—Diane Ravitch I buy all the novels for my students that our school budget allows because our students need to be reading fiction more than non-fiction. Here are some reasons reading novels will help our students both as language learners and as well-rounded human beings: 1. Readers learn more vocabulary from novels. In a novel the vocabulary repeats itself more than that in non-fiction texts because the setting and the situations tend to be revisited and referred to over and over. This helps a reader to pick up both high frequency [...]


For the first 2 1/2 weeks we have been focusing on just two areas: 1) classroom routines, procedures and rituals, and 2) Personal interviews. The affect and confidence level in the class is just about right: students are confident that they can learn Spanish and comfortable with the environment we have established so far. The interviews are progressing and the students are picking up more high frequency verbs they will need to communicate in class and read the passel of novels available to them. Students are doing well, but on Friday they amazed me. We were drilling the calm, quiet [...]

By | August 31st, 2015|Categories: Hope, Light Reading, Reading, Starting the Year, Weekly Routine|Tags: |0 Comments