Using Readers in the World Language Classroom

Jessica Rhoades, South-Western City Schools

One of the hardest things about teaching is there is always more. There are always more ideas you could implement, more activities you could add to a unit and more things you could purchase to improve your classroom. As building funds are often limited and rarely stretch to cover our whole teacher wishlists, I am incredibly grateful to have won the OFLA grant this past spring to help me accomplish my more. Here is how I plan to spend the grant money: 

Adding more readers to my FVR library

 I love using readers for free voluntary reading time. As language teachers, we know that we have a finite amount of time to provide target language to students. It takes more hours to increase a level of proficiency than we usually have in class in a school year and it is difficult to give up some of that precious time to free voluntary reading- an activity that does not hold the same accountability as other assignments. However, I notice a transformation in my students even after just a couple weeks of doing FVR. A smile creeps over their face as they start to describe the plot of their current book. They groan if someone else found a book that they wanted to read. They come into class asking “Are we reading today?!” I will use some of the award money to add more books to my library, focusing on increasing my diversity of books. I hope this will help students to continue enjoying reading in Spanish class.

Adding a new class novel

Department funds are limited and purchasing a class set of readers was out of the question this year. Also with the OFLA grant money, I plan to purchase a class set of readers (I am fortunate that my classes are small this year so my “class set” is only 24 readers!). I plan to purchase a class set of 48 Horas. 48 Horas tells the story of a mystery set in the Galápagos Islands. The narration switches between what is happening in the present and what happened in the past to create an intriguing read. I hope that my students will enjoy the mystery as much as I did while reading it!
I am very lucky and excited to have received these funds. My students will be very positively impacted by more readers and novels in our classroom! Thanks OFLA for helping me to accomplish my more!

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