Help KDP fund a Classroom Teacher Grant for “Spanish Novels for Spanish Readers”, a Classroom Manipulatives project by Crystal Mallett. She teaches 8th – 12th grade and has 12 years of teaching experience.
Application for Funding:
Rapides High School has a significant Hispanic population, making up more than 20% of the total school enrollment. Every year we enroll more students who speak little to no English. Meeting our school-wide focus of literacy improvement is difficult when students do not speak English.
We understand, however, that these students do have academic strengths in their native language. While our English as a Second Language staff works to help these students learn English, it is simultaneously important for those students to continue to grow intellectually so that skills mastered in the native language can be transferred to English as they learn the new language. We have found a fair bit of success with our male Spanish-speaking students since most of them enjoy books that currently exist in our library, like The Hunger Games trilogy and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Our female students, however, are generally not as interested in those types of books. Our female English-speaking students have expressed tremendous interest in the Kiera Cass Selection series. Of the three volumes the library currently owns in English, rarely is more than one to be found on the shelf at any given time.
In addition, having access to Spanish versions of books of interest to their English-speaking age peers gives Spanish-speaking students a common ground to explore with their classmates, creating a sense of belonging where they once might have felt isolated.
The primary focus of the ESL program is to help students learn to speak and adapt to a society that primarily speaks English. Having books available in Spanish creates a sense of comfort for native Spanish speakers who find themselves in a world they know little to nothing about and in which they are able to communicate with only a small, limited number of people. Having the same books available in English allows the students to compare the language and identify nuances and characteristics unique to each language. This serves as a bridge to help Spanish speakers as they learn English while also respecting their native language and abilities.
The recent addition of the Accelerated Reader program to our school library and literature classes and the purchase of Spanish content for that program allows teachers at Rapides High to evaluate Spanish speakers reading and comprehension skills in both English and Spanish. This allows teachers to measure students’ growth across small and large time periods, from one week to the next or across an entire school year. Likewise, having students test on the same book in two languages can help teachers to identify where breakdowns in learning are occurring as ESL students work to become proficient in reading, speaking, and writing the English language. This allows both ESL and instructional faculty to individualize both classroom instruction and tiered interventions. Dual-language literature that is both high interest and low level for struggling readers serves as a building block toward building that proficiency in English while still respecting the students’ native language, culture, and abilities.
How the $150 would be spent:
The $150 grant would be used to purchase Spanish language novels that correspond to English language novels currently in the school library.
Learn more about KDP Classroom Teacher Grants.
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