Since translating, per se, isn’t the problem, and I’ve had success with Read & Translate alongside Read & Summarize (see input-based strategies & activities), my next update to the book-club-like “Novella Month” (now in May) will distinguish between reading and translating. Groups will choose a lower level book they can easily read over four weeks, as well as a higher level book they’ll plug-away at as a group (i.e., not to finish).
This serves two purposes. The first illustrates the different experiences to help students determine when they’ve chosen a book too high above their level, and the other gets at “schoolifying CI.” Whereas the first years of Novella Month included end-of-class prompts to respond to as some kind of low stakes “accountability,” this year’s products will be the translations of the higher level book (added to their portfolio as learning evidence). So no, there will be no product for the lower level book they’re reading, but that might help the cause of creating learners who read because they want to, and not because they have to. Also, several of those end-of-class prompts (choose 4?) are going to be used as a way to wrap up Novella Month along with comparing the two experiences of reading & translating.
Practically speaking, Novella Month will take place twice a week during the second half of every Monday/Wednesday (or Tuesday/Thursday) class. What goes on during the first half? We’ll be reading a books as a whole class: two weeks of The Star Diaries, a week of The Cognate Book, and two weeks of trēs amīcī et mōnstrum saevum. Fridays will be more free reading and a game based on the whole class text we’re reading. Almost done.
3 thoughts on “Lower Book To Read, Higher Book To Translate”
Lance, thank you for documenting all of this and for all the resources you provide. Quick question, you mentioned reading novellas as a class for the first part of class. How many chapters do you get through a class period? Do you review them in later class periods, or mostly move forward?
1-2 depending on the length (~150-250 words?). We never reread together. I consistently plan about 5-10 minutes for students to reread the previous chapter(s) on their own, which also carved out time for absent students to catch up.
Great, thank you!