The Language Educator

Published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), The Language Educator is intended to serve as a single, comprehensive source of news and information for educators of all languages at all levels. Usually you have to be a member of ACTFL in order to receive this publication, however several issues are available online here.

An article written by Jean Oliver that may be of particular interest to TPRS teachers is entitled “Investigating Storytelling Methods in a Beginning Level College Class.” In this article, Jean writes about using TPRS with college level students and contrasts their abilities with her traditionally taught students’ abilities. You can open the article by itself or the entire February 2012 issue of The Language Educator and scroll down to page 54 to read it.

“Not only did these students demonstrate confidence in their reading, writing, and grammar ability as evidenced by the final exam, but they also appeared more comfortable speaking and understanding Spanish than my previous traditional students.”

Online Issues

Syying Lee

Sy-ying Lee is a member of the Department of Foreign Languages and Applied Linguistics at National Taipei University. She has written several articles for the International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and has co-authored articles with Stephen Krashen. She most often writes about reading and the practice of SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) and how these things impact language development and writing skills. On her website you can find links to her publications. They are very scientific in nature and tend to reference extensive studies that have been done to prove her theories.

Reading A-Z

Reading A-Z is a complete reading program with affordable books, lesson plans, worksheets and assessments to teach leveled reading, phonics, phonemic awareness, alphabet, vocabulary, and comprehension to K-5. These books and materials can be projected on a SmartBoard or something similar and can also be printed and folded into an actual book.

Materials are available in Spanish, French or English but a subscription is required ($89.95 per classroom annually).

12 Things Not to Say to Young Readers

I read an article recently on the Brigham Young University magazine website called 12 Things Not to Say to Young Readers. Quoting books such as Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook, Bradley Wilcox discusses ways that you can discourage a child from reading without even realizing it. I found his list to be very interesting as many of the items reflect what we already do in TPRS. He recommends that in order to help young people enjoy reading, you should be sure to avoid saying the following things:

  1. “Sounds it out.
  2. “Look it up.”
  3. “Don’t use your finger.”
  4. “Don’t move your lips when you read silently.”
  5. “Let’s each read a paragraph in turn.”
  6. “Once a book is begun, don’t stop until it’s done.”
  7. “Read every word.”
  8. “You can’t read another of your books until you read one of mine.”
  9. “Don’t read the same book over and over.”
  10. “That book is too easy (or too hard).”
  11. “Turn out that light and go to sleep.”
  12. “You can read now, so I shouldn’t have to read this to you.”