Reminded of the power of personalized reading

Here are two readings that we used in different levels recently:

La entrevista 

Leonardo llegó tarde

Both readings were received well, led to retention of terms and reiterate the idea that personalized reading is most effective.  As you read them, you will probably realize that they have little value in other classes where students do not know the characters or understand the inside jokes.  However if you change the names and some details, they could work for you.

The first reading is a transcription (obviously phony) of my interview for my new school.  It focuses on present perfect verbs and other recent structures.  A mock interview transcription is a great way to create something personal that provides exposure to dialogue and past/perfect structures.   The second reading stresses the forms of the verb “llegar” and other recent structures.  Because it is based on students in class, there are other versions for other sections of the same course.

Every one of my students knows the type of car I drive, where I live, the names of my children, the name of my dog, the foods that I hate, that  that my son recently fell down the steps and much more.  These details appear in stories, discussions and readings.  I talk about myself, joke about myself, tell wild lies about myself and feign arrogance about my life’s achievements.  Why? Narcissism?  Maybe a little, but more because my life is a great, personalized context in which to use Spanish.  It’s real and relevant and using myself as an example does not intimidate anyone.   For the same reason, I use students as examples . . . when they are comfortable and willing to share.   One of the great benefits of being a World Language teacher is that sharing myself and getting to know students are parts of achieving our goals for class.


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