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Starting the 2nd year September 3, 2009

Posted by mrsmerritt in Lessons Learned.

I just started the second year of my heritage reading program.  There was one surprise. One student elected my class knowing he would have to read. He doesn’t even love reading. Honestly, I can’t figure it out. He knew what I would expect of him and said he had no problem with it. His mother is thrilled because while she and her husband speak only Spanish at home, both of their children respond in English. She wants him to learn about his native language. She offered to buy the books he needed to read!

Speaking of pleased parents, that was not the only case. I got two sisters who elected my class. They are new to the area and hadn’t heard that their curriculum would include reading. They didn’t balk when I gave them an outline of the program at meet the teacher night.

Then when school started, one of the sisters came and told me how glad her parents were that she was going to be forced to read in her native language. They are from Puerto Rico and can’t go home as often as they would like. The parents are afraid that their children will abandon Spanish over time and thought making the girls read was a God send.

All total I have ten native speakers my second year. They are still spread out through the day which means reading novels is the only option available to them. Out of the ten, only two boys complained when I told them what they would be doing. They were horrified that I was going to make them do something hard. I replied “you didn’t think you could elect this class and then spend the whole year getting A’s with no effort did you?”

“Yes” they chorused.

That was a joyous moment for me! I am not a mean person, but to see the disappointed look on their faces when they realized that they had not gotten away with anything was magic.

The first week I ferreted out the native speakers. It took a couple of days but by the end of the first week I had identified them all (I believe) and given them an outline and an explanation of what they would be doing.

The second week I made everyone start with Pobre Ana bailó Tango. I started there because my Spanish 2 kids can read that novela by the end of the year so I figured my native speakers wouldn’t struggle.

The first of the ten finished the book halfway through day 4.



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