5. What characteristics are important when choosing basal readers and other curricular materials for Spanish literacy instruction in TWI programs?

Literacy specialists recommend high-interest materials that take into account studentsí backgrounds, levels of proficiency, and learning preferences. In TWI programs, the following types of reading materials are particularly appropriate:

  • Original texts in the partner language, rather than translations of English resources. Translated texts undermine the goal of cross-cultural awareness and true biculturalism, as they lack authenticity of themes, character motivation, and underlying values represented. The language is also unnatural and is not designed to capitalize on the playfulness, rhythm, and rhyme of each language.
  • Texts that relate to studentsí backgrounds
  • Leveled texts (see Question #10 in the Language Development section)
  • Both fiction and nonfiction books in a variety of genres and by many different authors
  • A combination of language rich materials that allow for teaching part to whole aspects of literacy.