Which Novels?

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41 thoughts on “Which Novels?”

  1. Robert,
    I’ll also be moving in the direction of encouraging the curriculum to be centered around novels and the most common words rather than textbook lists. This presents great opportunities for growth in my own teaching, as I’ve never successfully plowed through even one novel. And, having never plowed through I still have gotten outstanding results on proficiency tests. So, I’m hopeful this would also increase those results.
    I have used Piratas in lvl 1 and kids seem to enjoy it. I recall a convo a while back where you said, paraphrasing, “start with action instead of character description”. The next time I start Piratas I’ll do just that. The first two chapters are hard to slog through for me due to absence of action.
    But, to my question, would you like to use this forum to develop those appropriate “can do” statements you referred to in Local Food Fights for these novels? One of our next struggles here will be to agree on the “what” (novels) to teach and it would be great to have some examples of what a novel-driven levels 1-2 would look like.

  2. Oh Grant – thank you! this is a GREAT idea! I was thinking the same thing since yesterday …..since the workshop… because I still am not sure of how to go about this whole standards-based thing…..and make it enjoyable and understandable for my colleagues so we can all work collaboratively.

  3. Yes, Mary Beth, I was corresponding with Skip last night about the thematic unit that you guys came up with at your workshop – btw, I’d love to see a copy of it when it’s typed up! Anyway, sounds like working with novels is the next logical progression for big work/conversation on the PLC. I was just looking at “Pirates” yesterday. I have intentionally held off reading it. Jody’s admonition that the reading should be almost 100% transparent when they read it is holding me back. The more secure they are with the HF structures, the faster we should be able to read leaving the circling for the rough patches. When I taught from the textbook, there was no time to really read and now we are always reading something. I am optimistic that the greater emphasis on reading will create a market for more and varied readers. TPRS Publishing has done a great job with Spanish and I am encouraged by the new offerings in French. Robert, “Nuits Mysterieuses” looks promising for French – it echos the great French detective fiction genre. And, Robert, congratulations on your promotion to Department Chair. I hope your colleagues and students realize how fortunate they are!

  4. Hello my dear Chill (such an apropos name for the season. Just hope you don’t become “Hottie” in June. ;-),

    On the discussion of transparency and novels: I have found that with Level One students–whatever that means–none of the novels are very transparent at the beginning. My experience mirrors Grant’s. The first couple of chapters, of any novel I’ve used, are a bit “sloggy” for the kids and me.

    There is always a lot of background info that must be comprehended, organized in the brain, and remembered for the rest of the novel to make any sense.

    I don’t care how much action takes place at first (which, of course, would be more interesting than the usual beginnings for these novels), the students still have to “organize” the basic information in their heads to understand and enjoy the plot/arc (s) of the story without too much pain. (During the first few chapters, great volunteer artists draw their assigned character, on oversized paper, as we “slog” through. They are in charge of making sure the characteristics, connections to other characters, and background of the their character/person are illustrated and clear in their drawing. This takes several days. We keep them up on the wall as we go through the book so we can refer to or add to them as the plot thickens. This has turned out to be very important for the slower processors and less competent readers in my classes. The fast ones like it, too. It’s just not as important to their functioning.)

    Over and over, I am struck by how much “memory” is impacted by the fact that they are doing this reading in a foreign language. It really is deep. I am so much more respectful now of how difficult this process really is for our students. Slow is key (and, of course, sufficient HF background–as you mentioned). They really need time for the “din in the head” to take place. I have also found that NOW–this time of the year–is a great time to begin a novel. They feel ready–the perfect time to start.

    The cool thing is that after one or two chapters, if they’ve acquired enough of those high frequency structures after several months of good CI, the rest of the book is a breeze. I can hardly hold them back from reading the next chapter. Pirates has got good twists and flawed characters which keep the students wondering what will happen next.

    I am not sold on every teacher at a level having their kids read the same book at the same time of the year in every language–even though I know there is great pressure to do this in these days and times. It seems to me that if different novels have similar high-frequency structures as their core, teachers should be permitted to choose among a variety of books (if they are available) which best suit their students’ interests and the teacher’s own interest/passion for that book. This lock-step stuff should be resisted with great vigor in my opinion.

    Of course, I can say this easily because I am not feeling that kind of pressure in my present situation. BTW, if anyone knows of a job opening where a TPRS/CI teacher might work in a reasonable work atmosphere and be respected for the kind of work they are doing (in the SF Bay Area), please let me know. I am looking.

  5. The only advice I have to offer is my own dilemma: I love the more complex readings. As the teacher, they seem to give me more to work with: history, mystery, culture…I get so out of hand that I could probably do an entire semester on just one book. It satisfies me immensely and I love connecting all of the dots.

    The kids tolerate it. Their NUMBER ONE attraction is (as Jody pointed out) the accessibility of the language. It is far too easy for me to choose a book based on my own ability to create activities to “read” it and to incorporate culture etc. It has lead me back, on occasion, to that place where I spend hours creating things that I see as wonderful and the kids do not. They like what they can understand ON THEIR OWN. Then, they are ready to “work” with the other activities that I put together.

    Here is what I have taken from that:
    a) I have to ‘PRETEACH” the key structures until they are highly familiar, if not yet acquired (I really have no control over that). They need a modicum of control over those structures in situations NOT related to that book.

    I MUST get away from “That is a structure in Chapter 3!” It must be “This is a high-frequency structure that will connect them to other human beings!” And when they have encountered the majority of those structures in connection to other human beings, then, and only then, will reading the book actually help acquisition. Until then, it is “study.”

    That was a painful reality for me. I had been teaching to the book.

    ) Teach with books that are more “lower-level” than marketed. In our two year Level 1 program we now read Pobre Ana, Berto y sus buenas ideas and then Casi Se muere. I’d actually like to see one more between Berto and CSM but I’m not in charge of that program any longer.

    We read El Nuevo Houdini with sophomores and juniors. I am trying to imagine using it in Level 1….but I think that it would require a lot of preteaching or teacher-led reading. The reading level was exactly right for most of our sophomores and the content was perfect. The juniors read it easily, discussed it easily and the younger ones really loved the story. But what made the book important was that they could read it, and visualize it, and talk about it WITHOUT TRANSLATING. Which, by level 3, was the goal. Next we are reading Noches Misteriosas as a class. It’s new to me, so I’ll let you know.

    Last year I read Esperanza with LEVEL 4. It was very successful. I can only imagine teaching it in level 1 with a great deal, a great deal, of support and preteaching. I’m sure that I could do that….but it would be about ‘TEACHING THE BOOK” not teaching the students.

    I’m not saying that that is how it is for everyone else. We must each look at our students, our programs and our district. I’ve faced resistance because others in the department felt that all reading should be challenging. My stubborn stance is that challenging text isn’t reading; it’s deciphering, and that is not going to lead to language acquisition.

    This has lead to me incorporating “independent”reading time in Levels 3 and 4, where students choose their own readers and read independently. My 4%ers like to start out with something like Esperanza Renace, which they struggle with. Some love the struggle, but they are not getting much in the way of language, just feeding a need to do what is difficult. Most choose a different book within a week. The most popular books so far? Tumba and Rival by Mira Canion. Why? According to the students: They are easy to read and have interesting characters. The short stories that we read in Level 4 we have approached via Embedded Reading.

    This spring we are reading Felipe Alou and Suen~os de la Isla is one of the free reading choices. I’m interested to see if students choose a second book with a similar theme for their independent reading.

    What does all of that mean? As a teacher, I do have to choose a reader that allows me to “plan” lessons with culture etc. There are things that I have to, and things that I want to, share with my students. But the fact that it is a good reader to plan with does not necessarily mean that it is a good book to connect students with acquirable language…and THAT is my number one goal.

    No answers. :o)

    with love,
    Laurie

    1. I LOVE the idea of using texts “lower than marketed.” What you have explained, Laurie, lines up exactly with what I would expect: The students can actually read the books vs. just “getting through them” by deciphering and translating.

    2. Totally agree, Laurie, having to teach the structures before/as we were reading was like throwing a wet blanket on the whole process. It did become teaching the book. Easing them into the reading experience with total transparency with the structures and support, as you and Jody so well outlined above, should make for a successful reading experience instead of a slog! Level 3 read Houdini this year. They were fine with it.

    3. I think I have found that the fact that Esperanza is a true story really raises their interest level…. Some of the issues really engaged them too (not always in the L2 at level 2 but what to do…. they really wanted to talk about/debate whether or not a family that could afford a 1 room cardboard/tin houses should have children…. (Then I did a a watered down version of the activity you shared with me in October where you asked your students what they did to deserve to be born in the USA-It was VERY powerful -but not in L2- it did only go on for about 20 minutes…. thoughts?

      1. I think that your students brought up a very insightful question about whether or not families can afford children. This is a very American concept in many ways. But it could take me ages to write out all of the things that I am thinking!!

        I love that that piece worked with your students!! You know your students best…could/should you revisit it? Pay attention to their messages. I think that what you did really helped them to connect with Esperanza in a way that they could not do with their own background getting in the way.

        with love,
        Laurie

      2. (Then I did a a watered down version of the activity you shared with me in October where you asked your students what they did to deserve to be born in the USA-It was VERY powerful -but not in L2- it did only go on for about 20 minutes…. thoughts?

        Skip, I am going to be teaching Esperanza for the 1st time in my 2nd year class in a few weeks and I am looking for more information about pre-activities to help put my students in the right frame of mind. Could you share that activity with me (or us)?

        1. Ditto Skip…I would love to know what that activity is. I am halfway through Esperanza in both my level 2 and level 4 classes.

          Since I did not time this effectively we will be finishing the book after break, so this activity will be perfect to get back into the situations faced by the characters.

          I agree that the fact that this is based on a true story helps engage kids. Also –by total coincidence–about half of my students are in an English class where they are reading The Bean Trees. This is a novel by Barbara Kingsolver that also digs into immigration, Guatemala, civil war, etc. Very cool crossover so kids are getting multiple perspectives! I should write this up as if the English teacher and I had actually “curriculum mapped” together 🙂

        2. Hello all,
          I’m in Milwaukee right now without access to my school files. If you need it right away, perhaps Skip can share his version with you. I can be of more help next week when I’m back in the NY

          with love,
          Laurie

      1. Yes, yes, yes. Totally agree. We definitely have to make sure that reading chapter books is like “reading for pleasure” in that there is no struggle to understand the story.

        I found Houdini too hard for level 1 kids last year. Level 2 seems to handle it fine. A good level 1 reader is “The adventures of Isabelle.” I did this one earlier in the year with my level one and they loved it. These are 8th graders, so maybe it would not work for older kids, but it is a very cute story w/ mischievous character that most kids can relate to.

      2. Learning how to teach better has also freed me up in my own language learning. I used to be too hard on myself and try to read/understand things that were really hard for me. Very frustrating. But now I am reading things that are just a little challenging and it is really pleasant. I can feel that I’m improving (faster reading speed, for one, and retaining some new words). Why did we ever get the idea that learning a language meant hard, analytical, deciphering work?

        1. Because that’s what the classicists did; since they didn’t have any ancient Romans or Greeks or Israelites to speak Latin, Greek and Hebrew with, they had to settle for decoding and analyzing everything. (Not that I think analysis is bad; it just doesn’t lead to actually using the language, except for the four-percenters.) In order to make including modern languages in the curriculum “academically acceptable”, the modern language teachers followed the same model of instruction. It still doesn’t lead to actually using the language, but now we can see just how deficient it is because there are Spanish and French and German and Italian and Chinese, etc. speakers around.

    4. I must have missed this link the first time around. As I’ll be teaching Spanish IV for the first time next year (with students who had me for Spanish II, and then no CI in Spanish III), I’ve been trying to decide which novels and other readings to use.

      I love the idea of letting them choose their own readers (I have lots) in addition to the ones we do together as a class. I’m wondering how you assess that kind of independent reading–or is it approached more as a kind of FVR that is not assessed?

      thanks,
      Lori

  6. You all are helping me a great deal!

    Pirates has too much peripheral vocab for them to read it with ease. Even the cognates are in many ways too much for some 13,14 yr olds. They don’t always understand the context and frankly, if I continue at the same pace I’ve done with chapters 1 and 2, it will take 33 days (7 class weeks!) to get through and I just can’t do that to them.

    Also, to what Jody said, YES. Flexibility is the key – if they have the same underlying core structures in them it should be the choice of the teacher or perhaps the teachers at a particular school as to which books to tackle when.

    Also, if this is the case, a person who is more into Matava scripts and creating fun and imaginary stories with kids could do that and ‘cover’ the same structures. Proof would be that toward the end of school, kids oculd pick up and read independently the ‘assigned’ novels.

    I’m also struggling with what reading a chapter in class looks like. So far I’ve tried:
    1. choral, simultaneous translation
    Result: BORING
    2. Silent read then chorally translate
    Result: Better comprehension but still boring

    Well, I can’t write it all out here. But, the best I’ve found so far is to have kids read it together with a partner. They read one sentence in English (they read it first in Spanish if they want to – differentiation here) then their partner reads the next. If they find words that inhibit comprehension of the meaning of the _entire sentence_ they mark it and ask me. Then we go over my selected parts that are critical to understanding the plot or character development and act out those parts, per readers theater.

  7. Grant,

    I just finished teaching El Nuevo Houdini for the 1st time in a second year classroom (1st year of t TPRS). I also found that during novel reading the kids hating chorally translating. I tried to find the right mixture of activities to keep changing it up but I don’t know how successful I was.

    I did a lot of partner reading translating one sentence at a time. I tried to pair up weaker and stronger students so that they could get through it. We often followed up by having the kids write QRA questions, an idea that I believe I stole from Martina’s blog. I also did some individual reading as well – often followed by having students draw out 4 scenes from the chapter on the novel. We would then look at some of the scenes under the doc cam and have the students i.d. the scenes (easy) and try to discuss in target language. I also liked to use the Quizzes included in the teachers guide, but I would do them as review of the chapter after reading and discussing it. We would do it to start off class the next day when we were going to read the next chapter. I really tried to plough through the novel and found that even pushing it, it took me 3 school weeks.

    1. David – I apologize for not getting back to your question that you posed to me. I was thinking of an answer, but then everyone else jumped in with GREAT and more knowledgeable answers than what I could give you! 🙂
      I am loving this discussion!!!

  8. Back to the original question. I would not shoot for three novels at Level One. Not realistic. Two sounds reasonable. One, well done with lots of guidance which takes quite a bit of class time (well spent, in my opinion, however), and another at the same level, read more independently, could work.

  9. On choral translating: My ideal novel is so easy for the students that translating isn’t strictly necessary. The Read and Discuss process might want to skip choral translating for novels, as that might get a bit cumbersome for dozens and dozens of pages of L2 text.

    I picture choral translation being better with shorter, slightly more complicated texts, maybe stuff you’ve built up with embedded versions or the more stand-alone readings at the end of the traditional TPRS cycle of PQA – ask-a-story – read.

    Any more thoughts on this? I’m a little befuzzled on this finer point of when to use choral translation.

    1. I use a bunch of different activities for each chapter. Like one chapter I might give comprehension questions, another I might start a class room discussion, another I will have them draw out scenes, another I will give them actions in unordered sequence, and they have to put into correct sequence. When I feel that a chapter is being struggled with, then we do a choral translation. Some activities I let them try on their own, then work with their “partner” – of course I am walking around the whole time to see how they are managing. I don’t like to chorally translate the whole thing, because they WANT some autonomy in this learning – but they want to know that I am there for support. (which I have gotten through questionnaires to them)
      But….I am still trying to figure out how to do this!!! I feel so boring!
      I really want to learn Readers Theater to jazz it up a bit.

  10. Choral translation is an assessment tool for teachers. It tells us whether they are truly decoding and understanding (at least, superficially) the text or not. When it’s weak, we know they need help. When it’s strong, we keep going. Choral translation is for EASY texts. It should be fluid and fluent.

    I always read the portion aloud (a sentence or two), that I want them to translate, while they supposedly read along either on the overhead screen or in the book. Then, there is a processing wait period (decided by me) of several seconds. I give the signal; they chorally translate. I may ask individuals to translate, or a section of the class, or all of the boys/girls/blonds/soccer players/whatever. We cannot do this all period or all of us would die. In my classes, we do “novel work” every day until the novel is finished, but that doesn’t mean we do that work all period.

    I think if kids really understand the purpose of choral translating, they don’t resist is so much.

      1. Sort of and no. 🙂 I really preread the novel carefully every night. I know which paragraphs/sentences are going to give them a little trouble in terms of meaning, complexity, plot clarity, etc. and which ones are going to be easy.

        I may say: “Everyone, read the next paragraph silently.”

        Then, I can give them a variety of different things to do with different paragraphs:

        Translate this with your partner, alternating sentences between you. OR Figure out, with your partner, how what happens in this paragraph relates to “X”.
        OR Discuss with your partner when something like what happened in this paragraph has happened to you or someone you know. Was it exactly the same of how did it differ?
        OR When you and your partner can figure out “X” (something they can’t figure out without understanding the whole paragraph), write it on a scrap of paper with both your names on it, run up here, give it to me.
        OR when you finish reading the paragraph, draw it as fast as you can.
        OR “whatever you, the teacher, can think up”.

        Assigned partners are usually a bit faster processor with a bit slower processor–not too much of a chasm between them.

        I notice that as we move deeper into the book, reading and understanding are much easier for them. They know the characters. They have a sense of setting, plot, what might happen, etc. The high-frequency structures are apparent and repeated ad infinitum. They don’t need as much support and scaffolding.

        If a chapter is short, and I know that most kids can handle “comprehending” it on their own, I let them work in assigned pairs. I always assign an activity to be done when they finish so that there are not a bunch of “finished” off-task kids and wasted time. If I’m not walking around observing the groups, I take a small, slower processor group and work with them. I thought, at first, they would hate being singled out as “needy”. I was so wrong. Other kids begged to be in “my group”. You just never know.

        I think you’re right on the money about using the laser pointer on the speed bump items. Helping them notice how to use context to improve their comprehension is one of those “teaching across the curriculum” skills that is so important.

        I still think we need to keep ALL reading in the highly-comprehensible range (95-100%–remembering that 1 out of 20 words being incomprehensible is probably ok, but not too many more) when it is not freely chosen. I may be interested in reading a highly incomprehensible text (not really), but 99.9% of kids are not.

    1. I’m so split on this. I can see that choral translation needs to be for an easy/do-able text, but that this can become boring quickly if done in large amounts.

      I have also seen, though, that with the right group of kids choral-translation can be good for texts with a few speed-bumps in it. Especially if done with a laser-pointer, because as we point to the speed bump the students sort of feel it out together. I think that’s pretty authentic reading, using context and such to feel through some tough parts of a text. I am imagining myself reading Jane Austen.

  11. Oops! I originally posted this under the wrong thread. Let’s try that again.

    Wow, that question started some great discussion.

    I agree that using books below their marketed level can be effective. A couple of years ago I had a level 2 class that read Michael Miller’s Hilde und Gunther level 1 book for FVR. I don’t have enough copies for a class set, and they nearly fought over them. In level 3, they read the level 2 books.

    I guess I thought El nuevo Houdini was a lower-level reader than it is. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Also, thanks for the reinforcement that two chapter books in a year is good. I also like the suggestion that teachers choose their own book from a list.

    Follow-up question:
    What books do you think should be on a level 1 list as choices, and in which order?

    (I’ll ask about level 2 at a later time.)

  12. I teach Chinese. I don’t know if Chinese is or will be offered in your school, Robert. I’ll add a comment but apologize if I’m hijacking your request with something unhelpful. I suppose it’s well-known that Chinese literacy takes longer to develop than alphabetic languages. Even if one day there were versions of the chapter books popular for Western languages, they’d be much higher-level reading in Chinese. There’s also the issue of pinyin vs. characters. Then again, there are no verb changes in Chinese (conjugation/agreement/tense). I find that the first couple years of Chinese are slower, and then after some point the fact that many characters are re-used in other words becomes very helpful in reading. I think all this is just being tested out by CI-based Chinese teachers right now.

    I know of only three chapter books for Chinese so far. Two are written by Terry Waltz and sold online: http://squidforbrains.com/store/27-chinese-readers

    Susan you mafan, she suggests, is for 1st semester students, but I bought the book to spend time over spring break reading & considering if it would work for my 7th graders at the end of this school year (and they began Chinese in 5th grade). So far it looks like high frequency stuff they’ve heard, plus heavy use of proper names in English, which for early Chinese reading I think is just fine. The other book she wrote, Anna mei banfa, is intended for year 2 students. I suspect it’s based on the storyline of Pauvre Anna. In this one, Anna goes to Taiwan.

    Terry’s books have characters (your choice: editions in Simplified or Traditional) on one page, and pinyin of that page on the back of that page. I’ve never taught that way and am curious how it works. Seems like it would differentiate well being done that way. The pinyin isn’t constantly in view, but still available.

    Another book I’ve heard of is “The Lady in the Painting” which might be like year 3? It was based on a Chinese folk story but intentionally written with limited vocabulary. No pinyin, but now a CDrom comes with it that has an audio reading of the book. There’s information about it here: http://mandarin.about.com/od/reviews/fr/Review-The-Lady-In-The-Painting.htm

  13. Hi Robert,

    Congratulations are in order, even if a bit late I’m sorry. Wow, are those administrators, parents, teachers, and kids lucky to have you in this new position, things are going to move in the right direction!
    Please let me know if you need a French teacher, I am looking for a new job next year, and I can move…

    As for your questions,
    I am reading Houdini with my French 2 this year and prior to that they read Pauvre Anne. The problem with Pauvre Anne ( the french edition at least) is that it is so poorly written, and loaded with grammar and syntactic mistakes. It was very painful for me to read. Houdini is better thank God, although not perfect.
    I am in favor of holding the readings until second semester of 1st year or second year all together b/c I think they need a lot more auditory input before they could move to the reading.
    My French 2 when they started reading Pauvre Anne on their own as SSR at the beginning of the year found it somewhat hard! But then as they got used to it and seeing/recognizing the same structures over and over again it became very easy.
    Now the Nouvel Houdini is easy.
    As for my French 1 , we started Pauvre Anne this second semester and because we are taking our time, it s much easier for them.
    The activities I do are similar to the ones previously mentioned and I started RT
    although I am doing kind of my own thing b/c I have not seen Carol yet but it seems to be adding a lot of laughter/engagement and interest in the kids.
    So, I too cannot wait to see Carol in action this summer to be trained on how to do this effectively.

    But most importantly, Robert, let me tell you how impressed I am with your pirates’s book. I cannot wait to finish editing it. It is going to take me a while b/c I am a perfectionist and I am trying to be very thorough. When it is done I will pilot it with my French 1 and 2

    1. oops, I wasn’t quite finished.
      So I wanted to let you know that this book is going to make a lot of people happy in the CI community because it s so well written and so interesting, and the themes and messages are great.

      CONGRATULATIONS, I truly can’t wait to pilot it!

  14. Please tell me where I can order the German Pirates Book. I have been using Arme Anna as my first novel. I do not find it very engaging, but the students like the fact that they can read a novel.

    1. Oh, BTW, I have been disenchanted with Arme Anna for some time, but this year I did something different with it. Our French teacher introduced us to SQ3R (I don’t even remember what that stands for), and I had students work through the following questions:
      -Name of the book
      -Author
      -Who or what is it about?
      -When and where does it take place?
      -What is the main problem? (This helps students get beyond the obvious – her mother nags, they have no money – to the real issue: Anna is unhappy with her life.)
      -How is the problem solved? (This gets to what happens in the story: Anna gradually realizes that a car, clothes, money, non-nagging mother won’t make her happy; helping others makes her happy.)

      Approaching the book this way helped me re-engage with the book. Some of my students really got the message. This is the message of just about all of Blaine’s books, so if you create a curriculum based on his chapter books, students will get tired of the predictability.

  15. This year in my level one class (ended in January), I did not even read a novel. I was going to read Pobre Ana the last few weeks sometime, but we didn’t get to it, and I really didn’t want to rush it and leave a bad taste in their mouths for novels.

    However, since starting with TPRS 5 years ago, I’ve always done the same reading somewhere around mid-year with them. It is super easy, not a novel, and goofy enough to keep their interest. It was written by Karen Rowan for Realidades (I think that is the textbook). It is a 10 episode story (each episode is a couple paragraphs long) about a boy and a girl, Felipe and Maria. I’ve found it to be the perfect in-between text for them, since I like a couple others here don’t really care to push novels in level one.

    So, maybe you and your team could write your own little story series, based on the structures you feel are most important? Maybe a bit ambitious, I don’t know.

    Congrats Robert, this sounds like a position you’ve been training for and ready for quite some time.

  16. Rebekah Gambrell

    I think that this thread has come full circle. I was actually thinking about focusing my classes on the structures in the novels just like what was mentioned earlier. I have been doing that with Pobre Ana second semester Spanish 1. I take out the structures and teach them with PQA. I also agree that the translating is boring for the kids. Do we have to translate are there other way to check for comprehension?

  17. So to answer that we need to know a bit more about what you are doing. There is so much here on checking for comprehension in reading classes of novels. Translation is what Susan Gross advocates, and Blaine prefers Read and Discuss. We have the finger comprehension checks and the quick quizzes for formative assessment on the spot, which is 90% of what we do. So a more specific question would help us answer that better. Make sense?

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$10

~PER MONTH

Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben