The following applies to reading novels, not stories, which is described in:
When we simply read aloud to the students in L1 while they follow along in the book, they are experiencing full CI in the form of reading a novel. They are fully in the TL during this time. They are creating a movie in their minds.
So, in PQA and stories, they hear it and know what it means, and in reading novels, they see it and know what it means (bc the English is there for them to listen to). This is how little children learn how to read – mom reads them a book, it is pleasant, there are real pictures to look at, the mind is released from focusing on the words and the reading gains happen because we didn’t meddle with what has always been and should be an unconscious process.
Doing movie (visual) reading is the same process of doing (auditory) stories. In both, everything is given over to the unconscious, we can’t meddle, and good things happen. Over time, writing seeds emerge into sprouts and plants, if not made to sprout too early. When students read a lot, they become good writers. It is all a natural process and we mess with it.
The pleasant feeling of seeing something happen while the mind is unconsciously focused on the language is what brings the reading gains. This is very similar to the pleasant feeling when our students just get to kick back and enjoy a story on an auditory level. Dissecting the language in the old way brings zero gains, as we know, as we and most of our colleagues have proven over the years with shitty gains.
The students seem very happy to watch the movie unfold in their minds during this kind of reading. We could read to them in the TL, I suppose, but not until they know what it means. And why ever have them read with us or to us in the TL? They don’t know how to pronounce the words (that wiring is years from complete, is never complete). Teaching the students accent by consciously having them focus on how the words are pronounced is just stupid.
Moreover, why would we let them translate together, or in groups, or silently to themselves, when they haven’t the discipline to keep from talking about other stuff with their friends?
I remember a Latin teacher years ago in South Carolina who just read to her students. That’s all she did. I used to go in and try to follow along. It was marvelous. All sorts of connecting thoughts were going along as she read in L1 and I read in L2.
But I wasn’t aware of those connecting thoughts, those deeper insights about how Latin is built, etc. – all those internal thoughts that seemed to be going on just below the surface. They were explosive and powerful. I was learning how to read in Latin precisely because the process was going on at the level of the unconscious.
Yes, it’s Krashen again – the Much Ignored One. Just as in stories the students are unconscious of the (aural) medium of delivery of the language, so also during these L1/L2 reading classes, the students are unconscious of the (written) medium of delivery of the language – they just watch the movie. Without our meddling, our students acquire. When are we going to get that?
I might add that the highest focus level in reading classes happens when I use Movie Reading as described above. That speaks volumes.
But how can this highest focus happen?
The best Movie Reading occurs when one thing – and this is something that I don’t believe has been discussed anywhere in the TPRS community – is present in our voices when we read to our kids. When we do this kind of reading, when we try to make it into a movie in our students’ minds, we absolutely must read with love in our voices.
It sounds odd to say that in what we view as an academic setting, but schools are no more academic settings than machine shops or restaurants. All places are really just places where we can practice being loving and sharing a sense of peace and happiness with others. Especially children.
Krashen and Ray have shown that language instruction is not and has never been an academic, merely intellectual thing. Language instruction has always and must always involve the heart. The same feeling that we convey to the kids during Kindergarten Day is what we want to convey when we read to our students in Movie Reading.
We must read to them with love, that’s all I can say about it. If we read novels to them in a robotic way, none of this will work.
People always complain about how shitty Blaine’s novels are. Stop it. Just use Movie Reading to make it enjoyable for the kids to listen. Read to them with a relaxed, permission giving, softness. Read to them with love. Give the characters in the novel a bit of personality, but not too much (let the kids add their own internal definition of character as well).
The feeling of relaxed enjoyment of Movie Reading, along with the Calming Music done during FVR, will cause the kids to forget how bad the novels are (criticisms and judgement are functions of the conscious mind and we teach our kids to be that way all the time in schools) and they will have a different experience of the novel.
Understand what reading lovingly means. It just means reading with a sense of respect for life. This can be conveyed, even in this world.