Light Reading


This book will make your life easier and your teaching more effective. It is a compilation of the best comprehension checks for reading that I have discovered over 30 years of teaching and researching Free Voluntary Reading with my students. Whether you call it FVR, Sustained Silent Reading or Light Reading, when students read on their own magic happens. When it is taught well, self-selected reading is the best way to differentiate instruction and engage students. This book will show you how to do it--even with reluctant readers. With these best trade secrets from expert reading teachers you will be [...]


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 [...]


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” [...]


BOOK RATINGS by STUDENTS Self-Selected Novels from Spanish III Light Reading Assignments, 2012.  Students chose one novel to read outside of class each month of second semester. Books were rated by students on a scale of 1-10             Alphabetical by Author                            Average Rating 1.      Vida o muerte en la marasalvatruchas   8 Anónimo 2.      Las tres de la madrugada   5 Miguel Buñuel 3.      Piratas   6.5 Mira Canion & Carol Gaab 4.      Rebeldes de Tejas   6.8 Mira Canion 5.      La ciudad de los dioses [...]

Spanish III Light Reading Backlash

Some of my Spanish III students are upset about their Light Reading assignments (available on the Free Stuff  page of this website at:  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 [...]

Reading Questions

Here are some good reading questions from Carrie Ely, a young French teacher and PhD candidate in New York, that strike at the core of reading in a second language class.  I will give some short answers here, but I would be interested in hearing other solutions and expanding on these ideas. 1. What are some interesting activities to do with in-class reading? We spend 1-3 days a week doing reading - novels, stories, etc. What can we do besides straight translation?  • Acting out passages or whole chapters can be fun.  Ones with lots of action where the class clown's energy [...]