Today Elena and I conducted part of the exams for the group 52 girls, the students I’ve been working with the most. I keep learning new things! I didn’t realize that in addition to all the classwork I saw them do, they were also doing “Additional Reading” outside of class– 700 pages of Additional Reading, to be exact. They each chose a book or two to read and then, today, they had to speak to Elena or me about the book for ten or fifteen minutes, and demonstrate that they’d learned 100 vocabulary words from the books.
I am impressed by them again and again– I don’t think I would ever have been okay with doing 700 pages of independent reading in Spanish when I was in college. And the books they chose were of such a broad spectrum. Some read Hemingway or H. G. Wells, and some read The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And their vocab words ranged from “mizzenmast” to “conundrum” to “skulk.” What wonderful variety!