Ok, this post may be a bit controversial. But I’m hoping we can have an honest and open discussion here about a very popular teaching resource. I know many schools use the Pobre Ana series (Patricia va a California, Ana bailó Tango). So today I ask the question: WHY?!
Who is really the poor one here? Ana? Or our students? Here is some student feedback courtesy of instagram regarding what the students really think:
Ok, that last one was mine. But the point is: this novel is so boring and it offends our students’ intelligence. As one instagramer put it, “that novel is for 3rd graders”. Just because our students have limited language capabilities does not mean they should be treated like beginning readers. We need to ENGAGE our students. We need to give them readings that peak their INTERESTS.
I’m all for reading in the classroom. And I understand the concept of building reading proficiency. But there are so many other alternatives. I recently ordered some novels from TPRstorytelling.com and was way more engaged reading Esperanza or Las Noches Misteriosas en Granada than Pauvre Ana could ever provide.
Here are some other places to find reading for your classroom that would engage your students:
- Create your own reading! When you can write your own story and use the students name and their interests, they have automatic buy-in!
- Subscribe to those scholastic readers such as Que Tal, which are made for language students and have access to real culture and introduce vocabulary.
- Use authentic texts. Do the students like sports? Have them read an article from ESPNdeportes. Do they like gossip? Have them read an entertainment article from univision’s list of topics.
- Want to teach culture through reading? Have them read novels in English from your school’s library.
- Read this post about engaging our students. If the text is too complicated, write a summary yourself. Or teach students how to navigate an advanced text.
Otherwise…. this will happen:
Ok, so what’s your opinion? Am I completely off base here? Are you in love with Pobre Ana? Certainly, there will always be students that complain about anything, but are we doing all we can to engage all learners? Share your thoughts below!