Speed Reading

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44 thoughts on “Speed Reading”

  1. If I may be allowed my own personal opinion about what Eric has created here, whether it is connected to LICT or not matters little. It’s a series of simple readings with the most common verbs so – since most of us no longer use LICT anyway – don’t let that stop you from implementing this reading form of free writes into your curriculum this year.
    I have been waiting for the big news for 2015-2016 and here it is. Eric’s genius on the research has finally brought us something that we can use in our classrooms. I just need the French version like yesterday. I get goose bumps thinking about this new offering to our strategies cart. I’ll add a chapter on it to the ebook version of the Big CI Book. All I can say is – bam! Eric!

      1. I really appreciate the support! I believe in the idea first and developed a product second. But it is a new concept and a vastly underused activity, so anyone who tries this out needs to give us feedback.
        Ben is spot on about this not being only for LICT users. It’s just a bunch of short, high-frequency, and interesting stories!
        I don’t know of anyone working on a translation. So if anyone has the time . . .? It should be an easy translation job. The readings are not “L2 cultural,” so there’d be no adapting the texts. The texts are “light reading,” i.e. not literary works intended for analysis. The protagonists are all well-known L1 popular culture figures: LeBron James, Batman, Harry Potter, etc.
        The book is cheap ($9), because you would have to buy enough copies for everyone in your class IF you used for speed reading. I self-published.
        Blaine and Von started selling it recently on CD for $50 and you have the right to make copies from the CD and bind books for your students.
        Or contact me and I’ll send you a PDF and you can use PayPal or something.

        1. So now I have offers from 3 teachers on this blog ๐Ÿ™‚ to translate to Chinese, Latin, and German.
          I didn’t know how you go about this, so I asked Von Ray. He said that the translator gets paid a one-time fee. On that note, I need to figure out how much that fee is supposed to be.
          So I have decided that this month I will translate to English and then people can base their translations off that, since English is a shared language among teachers offering to translate.

          1. Can I suggest that the Chinese translation will benefit from significant tailoring of content? The differences in the languages are big, especially in level 1/2. Those early novels like Brandon Brown turn into at least level 2 books in Chinese. It’s hard to limit the vocabulary in the same way, esp. since there are few cognates, and none visually obvious (often not obvious even in pinyin).
            Then again, maybe speed reading doesn’t get going in Chinese until level 3 or something. I think it’s a great idea, and wondered how it’d work for Chinese.

          2. You’re right, Diane. Ian also mentioned to me the same issue.
            There are 400+ English-Spanish cognates throughout the book. In many cases, the translation does not need to be maintained and a different cognate can be substituted. Whoever translates will have to decide if this is doable and for what level the course then becomes appropriate.
            The high frequency words are limited to the top 300 in Spanish + 50 words, which are glossed in the text, and fall outside of the top 300. I imagine there wouldn’t be too much difference between the highest frequency 300 words of different languages.

          3. Within limits, there will be a lot of overlap in frequency words. But Chinese has a lot of very high-frequency words that don’t exist as a concept in European languages (particles of various types, the word Jiu, lots of connector words). High-frequency words get counted by character instead of word for Chinese (it makes more sense that way because the characters get re-used in lots of words). If these contained 200-250 characters, I think that’s level 3 reading. If it’s more than that, it’s above level 3. I think level one (end of year) reading in Chinese needs like 100 high-frequency characters only. Writing interesting things for level 1 Chinese is an art.

  2. We need training on this Eric! We need teams of teachers presenting on this topic and training others so that the domino effect of students that read in the TL can continue to grow….

  3. It’s a single activity. Quite simple, actually, I believe the 15 minute video explains more than you need to know ๐Ÿ™‚
    As more teachers try the activity and if it has a good reception, then I do hope it becomes part of mainstream FL practice AND assessment – really, they are one and the same with regards to this activity.
    For all teachers, like those in MA, required to show “progress” with pre- and post-tests, I plan to use a speed reading as one of those measures.
    Von said they’d carry the book at their workshops and I hope the activity gets a little explanation.

    1. Yes, I too have to give pre- and post-tests. It’s a Common Core thing so I imagine many of us are being dealt the same deck of cards. I’m super optimistic that these Speed Reads will be the answer. I just have to figure out now what texts I’m going to use for my different levels of kids.
      I’m going to see if I can get my school to pay for your CD.
      Here’s Eric’s tutorial on Speed Reads again. It’s super clear and thorough: even teachers not familiar with CI can follow. I’m pretty sure I can get the other new 3 Spanish teachers in my building to start doing this. I’ve already mentioned it in our PD days last week. I hope it will be a great intro for them, in a way, to all things CI.

    2. Thanks, Eric.
      I will be looking into speed reading when I can.
      At my school we will soon be talking (again) about the pre-post tests (called District Determined Measures, implying that teachers are supposed to have some input into the process) and this may be an option, although a few of us are leaning toward timed writings. At Wellesley they use a 10 minute timed writing.
      I heard Craig Waterman this summer; he is at the Assessment Coordinator for DESE. He is very accessible. I have sent him questions since then and he has replied by the next, if not the same day. His email is cwaterman@doe.mass.edu if you have any questions. He definitely knows more about this process than any seven administrators combined.

  4. Not related to this thread.
    What do we do when access is denied when we are trying to post a comment? I can’t respond to Jim’s comment on Question to the Group, so I’m trying this.

    1. Ruth. We all get that same problem. It happens to me once every couple of months. I don’t think anyone has figured it out. I just had to let go of the idea of making that one post. Sorry.

    1. Good question. I don’t know. Personally, I’ve only done the intensive version (see below) and only with 7th and 8th graders in the 4th quarter.
      If intended to be used as an “intensive speed reading course” (3x/week for 6-10 weeks) then the kids need to be familiar with ALL (98%+) of the language in the stories. There is a 300-word checklist with instructions to give you a feel for that or just see how they do on one of the later readings (they need a 70%+ on quiz).
      The readings are NOT on the same level since they parallel LICT level 1. That means that every successive reading has a few new words and structures and the length of sentences slightly increases. Therefore, if you use LICT or as you TCI the language from the story, you could have the kids then do the speed reading that complements that language. I call this an “intermittent speed reading course.”

  5. Wow, Eric. What an impressive project you have undertaken. I just finished the video introduction linked above. A lot of work and planning must have gone into this to make such a user-friendly project. The video itself reflects your hours of dedication invested into making language come alive to your students. We often note your relentless examination of research studies, but equally important is the way you make it work in the classroom. Thank you for making such an innovative product with great potential.

        1. Massachusetts is VERY lucky to have them!
          and us up in Maine are SUPER lucky to have their “guest” appearances every once in a while at our peer coaching sessions!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
          We love both these guys!!!
          Thanks for ALL you do, and ALL your encouragement Eric and Nathaniel!!! Looking forward to seeing you BOTH in a month!
          ~~MB in Maine

  6. If we are talking about the same Look I can Talk book, I thought that it was already in German and French…It’s at school, so I can’t look at it now.
    I really like this idea…especially because it is independent and I can get some DOWN time…even a few precious minutes will I treasure! Thank the Lord!

  7. Another question: Would this be too hard for level 1 students right now at the beginning of the year if the speed read was from our class story we created, with the details changed, but no new words added? I am on the fence and just not sure…
    Thanks so much for this! I am going to use this at least twice a week, if not 3 times…It’s genius!

    1. The answer to the last question is that you do speed reading if the language in the text is 98% (ideally 100%) familiar. You tell them the goal is a 70% on the quiz and the questions need to be about the main details in the story. You can do a 5 question quiz, true or false even, and expect a 4/5. Although it is possible to read 300 wpm, you can accept slower rates (100-150wpm) from beginners. The point is that they improve and understand what it means to read fluently.

    2. Leah did it say when to start doing this with beginners? Eric? I am guessing November. Also where do we buy these things – it’s still unclear. Are they in French Eric?
      (I certainly don’t mind if they are connected to LICT and I might suggest leaving that connection out. Just say that this product address the first (however many) most common verbs and you could list them or whatever. Tying your product to LICT is tying it to a boat that sank a long time ago.)

    1. Hi Leah, I assume you don’t have a book for this (since it hasn’t been translated yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so I’m wondering what you were giving the students to read? Regular class stories that you have made up or the stories from LICT? Did you then make up your own M/C questions?

      1. I have the Mini-stories look I can talk in German, so I made up my own questions and used those. I had to skim each first and pre-teach a couple words for each story, that they never saw before.
        For level 1, I used our first and only story script thus far, with new details and more details.

        1. Thanks, Leah. That just gave me an idea. I could just use the stories from previous years’ classes. They would include the target structures, just different story details. That should work, too. Will definitely have to give this a try.
          I have these two very unruly 10th grade classes this year, so this might be a good way to keep them engaged and on task.
          A question for all of you doing this already: What do you tell the kids, who are faster readers than others, to do after they are finished? Do you have alternate activities for them?

          1. Brigitte – one I’ve done that took zero additional prep was “blackout poetry.” They use the same sheet of reading, and cover words to keep only those they wish to use to create a poem (of sorts). Got that idea from Martina Bex.
            Otherwise I’d ask them to comic strip sketch the meaning, or read another one, or something like that.

  8. I am also willing to help with the German, only if the help is needed. I want to see this book out in German ASAP.
    Second question …. any chance the scoring chart can be made available now?

  9. Eric or anyone…
    Will having yes/no questions instead of multiple choice affect the process or scoring? If so, how?
    Should I avoid yes/no and stick to multiple choice and if so, why?
    I am using the look I can talk mini-stories, so to figure out the words per minute, do I need to count up each different word that appears in a story, and do that for all of the stories (hopefully they are very close)? Any thing else I need to think about to revise word count?
    Thank you! I am still very much a fan of this!

  10. Eric – Do you still need help with translating the speed reading into German? If so, please contact me. I am happy to do it for free, although it might take me some time. But, Iยดd like to start asap so that my students can eventually benefit from having the book!
    Email me at fraulturner at gmail

    1. So, translation has been put on a back burner. I don’t have time right now to translate to English. Maybe I will next month. And I can’t afford to pay others to translate at $35/hour. It’d be very possible to spend more on translation than profits from the book!
      Furthermore, translation may not work so well, since these stories rely so heavily on English-Spanish cognates. Ian Perry tried translating 1-2 of the stories to Chinese and that was going to be a problem. Languages with less overlap with English will have a harder time adapting these stories.
      You don’t need a speed reading course book. Rather, I encourage people to integrate speed reading into the TPRS 3-step cycle. Just take the story your class came up with and write a parallel one. Then, come up with 5 T/F questions about the main ideas. Bam. Speed reading done.

      1. I’m glad Ian found that to be the case — I generally don’t think using another language and translating to Chinese works very well. Usually the Chinese becomes several levels more challenging than it was intended. Ex: Brandon Brown wants a dog in Chinese: challenging for late level 2, after ch. 1 at least. Not for FVR until levels 3/4 in my experience so far.

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