At a neighborhood barbecue the other night I struck up a conversation with a couple of intelligent young professionals. The conversation eventually turned to reading and I asked them what books they had been reading lately. They both sheepishly confessed to reading fiction. I assured them that there was no shame in reading fiction. It’s not as if fiction were a second-class citizen of the reading world. In fact, the case for fiction is strong. I gave them my best short answer: “Fiction readers know more, understand more and feel more,” but of course, after dwelling on it for a [...]
These are the quotes I use to motivate students and to justify reading in the classroom to skeptical parents and administrators: READING IS FASTER THAN TRADITIONAL INSTRUCTION “Picking up word meanings by reading is 10 times faster than intensive vocabulary instruction.” ―Stephen Krashen (1993). The Power of Reading, p. 15, citing a study by Nagy, Herman and Anderson READING BUILDS BIGGER VOCABULARIES “Less frequent words... may best be learned by reading extensively, because there is just not enough time to learn them all through conscious study.” ―Norbert Schmitt (2000). Vocabulary in Language Teaching, p. 137 READING STORIES [...]
“It is amazing how easy it is to influence people’s behavior using these friendship tools [the eyebrow flash, the authentic smile and the head tilt]. Alone or in combination, they allow you to make people feel better about themselves and, in turn, encourage them to make you feel better as well. When you employ the Golden Rule of Friendship, it encourages reciprocity: ‘If you make me happy, I want to make you happy.’” p. 90-91 The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over, by Jack Schafer, Ph.D.
Which of these have you read? I have written guides to reading and teaching two of these best-selling novels in Spanish. One year we listened to Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal in AP Spanish. Every other year for 10 years I taught El alquimista in my Spanish 4 and AP classes. Both were well worth the time. El Alquimista: https://www.brycehedstrom.com/product/ebook-el-alquimista-student-support-and-glossary Harry Potter: https://www.brycehedstrom.com/product/ebook-read-harry-potter-in-spanish Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: 500+ million A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: 200+ Million The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: 150+ Million The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: [...]
(Previous post in this series: The Affective Filter Hypothesis) The next post in this series (#8/9), Other Krashen Hypotheses, is found here. Focus on the Students like a MANIAC C: The Compelling Input Hypothesis (2011) "When the input is compelling you acquire whether you are interested in improving or not." This hypothesis asserts that compelling input trumps everything else in language acquisition. It emphasizes the role of subconscious acquisition while attention is focused elsewhere. Language comes along for the ride when students are engrossed in a topic. The goal is to find material and topics that captivate students. These are [...]
A reminder from A Christmas Carol: "He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: What then? The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune." —Ebenezer Scrooge to the Spirit of Christmas Past, talking about the joy of working for his first employer, Fezziwig, in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Is being in my class a [...]