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Houston, we had a problem. The heroine of my beginner class reading book was named Betsy. To the Mandarin-speaking students, this means "stupid", so the class was restless and distracted in reading time.
An experienced teacher advised me to let the kids change Betsy's name. For extra fun, her new name was Shongololo- the sound of it tickled them. To keep the whole class involved during individual reading, I now have all the students pipe up "Shongololo!" whenever the reader gets to Betsy's name. This way, everyone must stay focused on the reading.
The idea can, of course be applied to any reader in any form with great success. Amazingly, even the most timid students can't wait to read.
Marie-Therese Le Roux
Taichung City, Taiwan
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