Getting a Reading Program Started

If you’ve thought about starting a reading program in your class or want to see what someone else’s reading program is like, this video is PERFECT for you. I go through an HOUR of breaking down Dr. Janice Pilgreen’s seminal work The SSR Handbook, and how to adapt it for L2 reading programs.

The original powerpoint can be found here.


Reading is perhaps the most important literacy-building activity in existence. In particular, study after study has demonstrated that PLEASURE reading is the source of the vast majority of literacy! We know this to be true. The kids we see popping out novels at lunch time, before school starts, when they finish activities early, are our best readers. Naturally! They read more! While reading programs like Sustained Silent Reading or Free Voluntary Reading are increasingly widespread a in Language Arts/English classes, a minuscule percentage of World Language classrooms feature reading programs. It’s time to change that! It’s time to bring SSR to World Languages. It’s time to give our students lots of opportunities to read. And not just paragraphs from the textbook or review texts from class discussion. But literature! Books! Novel! Biographies! Comic books! Graphic novels! From beginners mid-way through level 1 all the way through college advanced classes and adult learners, it’s time to get our kids reading dozens if not hundreds of pages every year, every level. This video is based on Dr. Janice Pilgreen’s seminal work “The SSR Handbook.” In the video, I walk through how to adapt Pilgreen’s “Pillars of Successful SSR Programs” for World Language application, referencing techniques, management strategies, and external resources.


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