It can be tempting to speak a lot of L1 in the early days of the school year, but if you teach high frequency verbs and some useful classroom verbs early, you can keep Maury away. Here's a helpful list to get started:…/…/IMPORTANT-VERBS.pdf The first part is based on Mike Peto and Terry Waltz's work.

By |2019-08-15T21:33:06-07:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: Just for Fun, Reading, Satire, Word Frequency|0 Comments


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 [...]

By |2019-04-19T21:47:17-07:00April 19th, 2019|Categories: Encouragement, Fiction, Reading|0 Comments


When you start a daily self-selected reading program your students will complain–even if you provide a wide selection. Even if you allow them to to select what they read. when the complaints roll in, have faith that they will subside if you stay strong. Here's what has worked for me: 1) Make this poster an place it prominently in the front of your classroom: “Picking up word meanings by reading is 10 times faster than intensive vocabulary instruction.” ―Stephen Krashen, The Power of Reading When the daily whining begins, point your laser pointer at the poster. Make no expression on your [...]

By |2019-02-22T16:56:18-07:00February 22nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Daily Routine, Reading|0 Comments


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 [...]

By |2019-01-15T20:57:44-07:00January 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, C.I. Skeptics, Encouragement, Krashen, Light Reading, Reading|0 Comments


Take advantage of the upcoming interest in La Llorona by teaching your students the real legend in Spanish with this embedded reading: A new movie about everyone's favorite scary  Mexican legend, La Llorona, is coming to the big screen this spring.  The Curse of La Llorona will be in theaters nation-wide beginning on April 19th. This is a feature film produced by James Wan (of Aquaman & The Conjuring fame), about the child-stealing, weeping woman of Mexican folklore. With these new resources, your students will be able to understand, read and even tell the story like never before:  

By |2019-01-14T21:14:21-07:00January 14th, 2019|Categories: Embedded Reading, Multi-Level Classes, Reading|0 Comments


“That is how learning to read begins—first people read to you, then they read with you, and finally they give up because you have taken control of your own reading and don’t want anyone else to interfere. Usually it happens remarkably quickly, so smoothly that it is rarely noticed. Of course, you don’t learn to read all at once. You learn one word at a time—and no one can predict each successive word that you learn will be. It’s not easy to learn new words from word lists, where there is no meaningful context. But new words are learned with [...]