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.