In 2011 I blogged about what a boring teacher I really am and how I was inspired by some conference workshops to make things more fun in the classroom.
The premise here is easy – when the random picker lands on “A leer,” we stop for 10 minutes and students read whatever they want to. If they have a mobile device or a computer, they can read news, blogs, ESPN Deportes, or anything else in the target language. They can browse magazines like People en Español or Tú.
Or, they can read a magazine or newspaper I have in class. We have a local Spanish newspaper I pick up from time to time and keep in class.
Or, they can read in a novel. On the easier side, I highly recommend keeping a sample copy of all of the novels offered by TPRS Publishing. For more authentic, more advanced language, I have copies of Ciudad de las bestias, Cajas de cartón and its sequels (although I don’t allow them to use Ciudad or Cajas for this activity because those are the novels we read as part of class), Manolito gafotas, Zorro, Cautiva, and more.
There are only a few basic guidelines for this:
- The subject matter is entirely voluntary.
- The activity is SSR: sustained silent reading. Use your background knowledge and context to enhance comprehension but don’t disturb the peace.
- We stop after 10 minutes no matter where you are.
- Quickly give us 1 sentence that summarizes the main idea of what you read.
Reading for pleasure is the absolute best way to create long-term memory of vocabulary. Incorporate some in your classroom soon!
Foto credit: Antonio Marín Segovia