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Wordless Books

I love teaching French, and I really have little interest in ever leaving the language classroom. My Master’s degree is actually in Literacy, though, and I’m a certified Reading Specialist.

While I’m not at all trying to become a full-time reading specialist, I learned SO MUCH about language acquisition in my studies and there really is so much overlap in what a reading specialist does to develop emergent literacy in L1 and what a modern language teacher can do to develop proficiency in L2.

One great strategy is the use of wordless books. Not to be confused with picture books, a wordless book literally only has illustrations that tell a story. This helps young readers better grasp story elements like characters, setting and plot (key components of literacy), without getting tripped up with the decoding piece, which is actually only a small part of how we measure literacy.

So for the modern language teacher, what is a wordless book but a series of Picture Talks?

Today was supposed to be my school’s version of Field Day, but it got cancelled at the last minute due to weather, leaving me with three classes that I was not expecting to teach today. I figured it was a great opportunity to take a look at I Walk With Vanessa, by Kerascoët. I own the Kindle book, so I just projected the Kindle Cloud Reader and we walked through it.

Each of the three classes are at very different levels of proficiency, so it was an interesting (and very successful, if I may say so myself) exercise in scaffolding and differentiation.

In the coming days we’ll have the opportunity to do retells, re-enactments, re-draws, all that!

Highly Recommended! 10/10

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Lauren Crenca
Lauren Crenca
Aug 19, 2021

Love this! I'm also a French teacher and will be finished with my master's degree in Literacy this fall. So much powerful overlap! Thanks for sharing:)

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