My Classroom, My Curriculum: Post 1

Administrators like to shove all ESL students in one class with no ability grouping.  To argue my case for better scheduling, I wrote out a set of Scope and Sequence documents that align back-to-back on a continuum so administrators could see how each phase of learning is distinct.  Here is more information on these documents.

However, I prefer Dr. Krashen’s simplified version.


1.  Stories

First, children need to listen to stories as they read simple text.  Sometimes, it’s a read aloud of big books, or shared reading of simple graded readers or modified graphic novels. Other times, it’s TPRS or Story-Listening as we share stories orally and point at target structures written on the board during the story.  Compelling stories give students an ability to decode surface-level text, while engaging them in a profound love for reading.

2. Free Voluntary Reading

Second, children start to read more independently just for leisure.  This is Free Voluntary Reading.  There are several ways to promote Free Voluntary Reading: Sustained Silent Reading, Literary Circles, Self-Selected Reading programs.  Let children choose their favorite books and how they will respond to text with limited accountability and maximum autonomy.

3. Academic Language

Finally, after children have strong reading habits and reading fluency, help them find a subject they enjoy reading about. High-Interest Content-Based Instruction is a great way to encourage academic language and literacy by reading narrowly and deeply in a high-interest content area.

These phases overlap but always work toward what is most interesting to children on the level of text complexity and independence they are ready for.  For all phases of learning: find what children love and give them books about it.  

Note:  The above still is from this interview, but my curricular ideas reflect the last 12 years of reading Dr. Krashen’s work found at: .  I’m not sure I would still be teaching without Stephen Krashen.


Published by

Claire Walter

I am an ESL teacher and I promote differentiated, compassionate instruction and assessment for English Language Learners.

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