CI Reading Strategies

Reading in the target language can be divided into three phases: pre-reading, reading, and post-reading. Each of theses phases is important to contributing to student comprehension and literacy in the target language. Below is a list of reading stratgies which I have collected and written about on my blog (if there is not a link, it means that I plan to write about it).

Why is reading important to language acquisition? According to Krashen:
“Our reading ability, our ability to write in an acceptable writing style, our spelling ability, vocabulary knowledge, and our ability to handle complex syntax is the result of reading.”
I always say that reading is where the magic happens in language acquisition!
As Carol Gaab states, "The brain CRAVES novelty," so for one story, I may do 2-3 different activities for prereading, while I may do 5-6 different post-reading activties. For the next story, I will do completely different set of prereading and postreading activities in order to preserve novelty.  

PreReading (anything used to preview vocab/structures)
- TPRS/Ask a Story
- running dictatio

Reading (the actual act of reading a story for the first time)

Post Reading (anything used as a consolidation of the actual reading for review/reps)
- Circling
- The Sex Game
- Card Memory Game
- How Do the Characters Respond?
- QR Code Running Dictatio
- Find the Difference
- Support the Statement
- Drawing Dictation
- Read, Write, Draw, Pass
- Book Snaps/SnapChat
- 4-Word Story/Snapchat 2.0
- Screencasts
- 5 Ways to Use One Set of Illustrations
- Partner Crossword Puzzle
- Emoji Find the Sentence
- Who is This?
- Who is This #2?
- Emoji Picture Retell
- Storyboard That
- Lucky Reading Game
- Running Dictation with Pictures
- Picture/Screenshot BINGO
- The Unfair Game/Give or Take Game
- Word Cloud Cloze Sentence Activity 
- Multiple Story "Put the Sentences in Order"
Alternate ping-pong/volleyball reading
- Three Sentence True/False
- Charlala DrawRoom - Picture/Sentence Match
- Running Dictation with Categories
- Micrologues
- Crossword Puzzle Train Relay
- Listening/Matching Activity
- Using Google Forms for Reading Comprehension
- Inserting Videos into Google Forms
- Sentence/Picture Matching using Google Forms
- Inserting Audio Clips into Google Forms
- Using Google Forms for Digital Learning
- Formative
- Picture/Sentence Matching - Google Slides Manipulative
- Conducting a Movie Talk via Zoom


  1. This is the single best blog post I have seen in all of my searches for activities linked with TCI. I am new to the teaching method and am constantly seeking ways to reinforce stories and structures while maintaining novelty (I teach Spanish and have quite a mix of native and non-native students in my classes). Thank you so much for the clear directions and your commentary and observations. And kudos for making a "dead language" so full of life!

  2. Thank you for putting this list together!

  3. I've been trying to find good examples and resources for "Ask a Story." There are some difficulties in formatting and carrying out this activity that I'm having. Do you have any suggestions or places for me to look? I've been trying to illicit story ideas from students in Latin, but there is only so much they can do. Is this something that you do with your students or do you allow them to suggest things in English?

  4. Honestly, I find asking a story very difficult. When I do "Ask a Story," I already have the main story set in terms of plot, but I will ask students for incidental/non-important details to add, e.g., "Ashley heads for the bedroom (a set detail). How does Ashley head for bedroom? Does she crawl? Jump? Hop?" This way, students can feel like they are contributing details to the story, but at the same time, I am still the one controlling the story. Depending on the level of the class, I will allow students to suggest in English, and I will rephrase in Latin.

    1. I hear you. That's what we did for our first story and it went really well. It was almost like a Latin Mad Lib. But this second was a little more rough. I am having to think about some of my sequencing and how I may lead up to an "Ask a Story" type activity. It just seems to be a bit out of their reach at this point, they will probably more equipped in Latin 2 or 3.

  5. Does the reading part of a story in a CI classroom mostly just involve a read-through of the story aloud in Latin? How often do you use the choral reading as a way to establish meaning before doing post reading activities? If you don't do choral reading, are there other things you can do to establish meaning before post reading? Would you simply project the text, read aloud/act as you read, and ask what the students got out of the initial go-through? Would you highlight the skeletal structure of the text (like main verb, sub, and obj of each sentence) and go through that? Thank you for you advice!

    1. The actual reading is a translation of the story/passage into English in order to establish meaning. When students first see the reading, I will project it and go through it a sentence at a time by translating it into English. During this time, I may do a pop-up grammar by pointing out a grammar point, but I am not going to parse the sentence. I may ask "What Latin word serves as the verb?" "What word means X?" What does this -ba- in the verb always tell me?" I like doing a choral reading for establishing meaning, because everyone can be on the same page regarding meaning of words. If I have introduced new vocabulary prior to the reading, then I will always do a choral reading.

    2. Is it ever a concern that with shorter and easier passages, the students will memorize how the story goes when they hear it the first time, making the post-reading activities less useful? Or is that not an issue? Thanks :)

  6. While students can probably demonstrate comprehension of a story in L1 after a first read-through (what happened, characters, etc), post-reading activities are done in L2 with different purposes. Knowledge of the story in L1 can definitely help guide students in post-reading activities, but that is not the goal itself. The main goal is to get in repetitions of the L2 without being repetitive and for students to interact with the language in L2, not with the English in L1. The high-flying student may able to acquire the L2 in the story in the first round, but the average student (most students) needs the repetitions in order for subconscious acquisition to occur. I suppose I could have students who could completely memorize the story in L2, but that serves no point unless I am asking them to recite the story back to me. Memorization is not the same thing as acquisition at all.

  7. This is such a great resource. You've given me so many ideas. One thing that's missing that I do, is I have my students record a dramatic reading of the story for homework. My students create an audioboom account and upload their audio to their channel. I used a podcast manager and add each students channel. When there's a new upload to the channel I'll get notified.

    1. I am curious about the dramatic reading. Only you listen or do you play aloud for other students?

  8. I love these lists of activities and come back to it often. Would you consider creating a similar list of composition activities?

  9. What an awesome list! Thank you :)

  10. Thank you for this list!! I have it bookmarked and refer to it constantly!

  11. This is such a great compilation. I am using it to remind myself of the wonderful workshops with folks who have shared these strategies with me!