Real Choice

This graphic organizer or that one?

Justin Beiber or Lady Gaga?

Free write about whatever you want.

Comprehension-based classrooms often offer what Alphie Kohn calls “pseudo-choice.”  Real choices have to allow children autonomy.  They may need guidance at first, but quickly they control what they read and how they respond to text.  Then, they self-identify as readers.

Krashen’s Stages Hypothesis slowly takes students from less to more choice…without the need for superficial choices.

1.  shared stories -little choice
1.5  Guided Self-Selected Reading – some choice
2.  FVR – choice!
3. Specialized Reading : total choice; the world is your oyster

Choice only grows over time.

I used sheltered instruction (sometimes mistakenly associated with “CALP” in the CI community) for the first several years of my career.   After I started using FVR, I had to leave it behind.  Once choice in books is a part of your class culture, there’s no going back to teacher-selected reading passages.


Published by

Claire Walter

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

2 thoughts on “Real Choice”

    1. Hi Cecile, thanks for your question. I have seen Dr. Krashen refer to the first phase of language acquisition as “shared stories” or “Read-alouds and hearing stories.” Listening to oral stories or hearing books read-aloud can be used with new readers in L1 and L2…to build confidence, vocabulary, and love of reading. Storyasking or Story Listening are both examples of oral stories that can get kids excited about reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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