Last school year, I joined Mike Peto‘s CI novel writing group with the hope of writing a language reader. Having written articles for Le Petit Journal Francophone for three years, I was ready to take on the challenge of writing a longer story. It was so. much. work! But it was so. much. fun! The weekly meetings really kept me going; I highly recommend joining the group if you are thinking about writing a novel. We need more comprehensible reading materials on our bookshelves!
I am thrilled to introduce my first novel: Alicia (also available in French).
“When Alicia, a girl who lives in the town of Liberia, Costa Rica, finds out she and her family are moving to San José in a month, she is far from happy. Her friend suggests she make a list of the most important things she wants to accomplish before she leaves. Alicia writes four items on her list and sets off on a quest to discover what truly matters to her.”
The novel has 4,000 words and 300 headwords with lots of cognates. I wrote it with level 2 and above students in mind. Here is a sample for you to read in order to decide if the language is appropriate for your students.
Inspired by Dr. Mason’s Story Listening method, I focused on writing an interesting story in French first, then my dear friend Claudia Rodriguez adapted it to Spanish, and then I made it as comprehensible as possible by reducing the headwords from 800 to 300 (!) but still keeping the language rich. My husband is a Tico, and helped make sure my characters sounded authentic.
For those of you who want to supplement the story, there is a cultural glossary at the end of the book. Here is a list of ideas/resources for Intermediate students:
- Explore the history of Liberia and check out Café Liberia
- Plan a visit to Rincón de la Vieja, one of my favorite national parks in Costa Rica
- Tell the legend of “Princesa Curabanda” using Story Listening supplementation
- Debate the place of women in sports using Alicia as a starting point, and Deportistas Hispanohablantes as real life examples
- Discuss immigration in Costa Rica, using resources from https://cenderos.org/