Read to Speak Spanish™ is a part of Reading 633™
Reading 633 is an organization that promotes true acquisition of world languages through comprehensible input. We help language teachers flourish as CI instructors by providing coaching and world-class materials, saving them countless hours of time and energy. We directly help students by creating comprehensible, relevant, and engaging media.
My name is Andrew Snider, and I am a husband, father, friend, teacher and author. I am drawn to excellence and love to explore new ways of doing things. I have been teaching Spanish at the college level for the last five years, but I got my start in the language more than fifteen years ago in middle school. I wasn't the best student in the world, and that's why I believe I am living proof that comprehensible input is the way to acquire a language.
I started taking high school Spanish in 2001, and for an entire year I learned in a traditional way. We used the textbook, listened to CDs I couldn't understand, took grammar tests — all the usual suspects. I did okay in the class, but didn't really learn all that much Spanish.
In 2002 everything changed for me. I got into a level II class with a different teacher who used stories and daily comprehensible input to drive acquisition, rather than the textbook. For the next two years I acquired tons of Spanish by hearing, reading, and retelling stories. I didn't know it at the time, but my teacher made a lifelong impact on me by using highly comprehensible language in his classroom.
In college Spanish was my easiest subject, mainly because other students didn't have the advantage of a CI instructor like I did. Since then, I studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador and earned an M.A. in Spanish Language and Culture from Washington State University (Go Cougs!).
I stumbled across TPRS© by accident. I was looking for information on TPR (Total Physical Response), a technique my brilliant high school teacher used to help us acquire vocabulary. I was floored by the elegance of it all. I spent the next couple years reading as much as I could and I was able to attend a workshop (do this, by the way). My teaching has improved and, more importantly, my students now benefit from an environment that allows them to explore the language in a more natural way.
I have seen firsthand the power of comprehensible language both as a student and as a teacher. Because of these experiences, I now use stories as a main vehicle for providing CI to students. I am convinced that hearing, reading and retelling stories is the best way to acquire language. Reading and storytelling really work as a method of acquisition, and they work really well.