Dear WL friends in Edutopia-land! A colleague wrote to me this week about an interesting idea. She would like some creative ideas to support her students in doing Free Reading in her WL class. Here is her specific query: "My AP students have a period a week to browse through the classroom library and find reading material that tickles their fancy. We use a reading log so that we can track progress. I give reading quizzes a couple of times a month, but I'm interested in more creative ways to approach that sweet spot of losing oneself in a good book." I thought that all of us might enjoy a discussion on this topic. We need not limit our discussion to what we might do in an AP class. Some strategies could easily be tailored to the novice level, as well as to intermediate or even advanced fluency levels. The input I would like to give is this: How can we offer multiple strategies to engage our WL students with authentic resources in the target language, without changing the texts themselves, but rather by changing the tasks we ask students to do? Of course, we also need to be selective about the authentic resources as well - we don't hand beginning Italian students a copy of Dante's Inferno, nor do we give more advanced level French students a copy of Frère Jacques! We do need to select appropriate texts, but we don't need to change the texts, just the tasks we ask them to do. With that in mind, let's have an on-going discussion! What ideas can we share with one another? Have fun! Cheers, Don
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