We know that language learning depends on comprehensible input through reading and listening. So, why not incorporate both kinds of input into one book? The new Enhanced Readers from Teacher’s Discovery do just that, combining Spanish reading with audio and video within the context of a story. I think it’s amazing!
These innovative readers have QR codes on the pages of comprehensible input novels. The students scan the code to go to high-quality video and audio files that enhance the reading experience with an additional layer of input.
Of course, as teachers we understand it is essential to get students enthusiastic about reading. I think these are the books that will make it happen.
I’ll give you an idea of how this works and why it is so effective, but take a look for yourself. Check out the Enhanced Spanish Readers with Video and Audio from Teacher’s Discovery.
Enhanced Texts for Layers of Input
Enhanced readers are a brilliant new concept. Right now, Teacher’s Discovery has three Level 1 novels for beginners with QR codes throughout the book. The codes take you to videos of the characters talking about themselves or dialogue from the book. There are also QR codes that open a reader’s theater style audio recording for each chapter.
The three books, Los novios, Yo sí puedo, and El intercambio, are written in the present tense with a limited number of unique words. All three stories are set in a Mexican high school and follow a group of friends. The continuity allows for character development, repetition and builds Spanish reading comprehension.
Spanish Reading with Video
The QR codes throughout the chapters open videos of the characters giving background information or having a conversation. The quality of the video production is excellent, with clear, natural Spanish at a rate of speech accessible to learners.
These videos engage students in a way that is impossible to do with text alone. Through images and sound the characters come alive, so students identify with them and become invested in the story.
In addition, the video reinforces and clarifies vocabulary and provides essential repetition. Students can pause and rewind the video and audio. Similar to re-reading parts of a text, this lets students negotiate meaning at their own pace.
Spanish Reading with Audio
A QR code at the end of each chapter opens an audio file of a reader’s theater version of the story. This is another valuable layer of comprehensible input.
Research shows that audio books are effective for developing literacy skills and that students remember information better with a combined visual-auditory presentation. The readers theater audio of the text is also extremely helpful in developing accurate pronunciation.
Spanish Reading: Texts For Better Learning
As you can imagine, reading with integrated video and audio takes learning to a new level. In addition to increasing the quantity of input, the videos make communication more immediate and authentic.
For example, when a character from the story gives personal information in a video, the point of view shifts, and the character is speaking directly to you. In other words, the video involves the reader in the conversation, removing the distance created by the narrator.
Or, when the video is a dialogue from the story, the reader hears and sees the conversation with natural context. For example, setting, gestures, and emotions all contribute to comprehension.
The context created by the videos also informs the reading process as students continue to read. Once they have heard the voices of the characters, those are the voices and accents they hear in their heads. Once they have seen the images, those images continue to reinforce the content of the story. The result is a richer language experience with layers of comprehensible input.
In addition to the video and audio enhancement, these readers have all the features you would expect to help build reading comprehension skills. There are colorful illustrations throughout the book and a glossary. In addition, each chapter has a series of comprehension questions and personal questions to make the content relevant to students.
If you’re looking for Spanish texts for higher level students, be sure to check out the comprehensible input novels from Bryan Kandel. The books are for Levels 2 and 3, and you can read about them here: Spanish Readers: Comprehensible Input Novels
Enhanced Spanish Readers
To understand the power of this innovative concept, go to Enhanced Spanish Readers with Video and Audio and watch the video demonstration of how the QR codes work. You can also read more about the these Level 1 Spanish readers.
This concept is brand new, but I’ve been talking to teachers about it and we’re all amazed. Like many of the best applications of technology, we agree this feels like magic. In this case, a little magic in Spanish class is going to add up to a lot of learning.