Write books for teens at a 3rd-grade level.
The LA Times reported that Saddleback Educational Publishing is launching a new “Flip” series: where each books is written half from the perspective of a cheerleader and, when you flip it over, the other half is written from the perspective of an athlete. The books talk about peer pressure, sex, and school… and are written using vocabulary and sentence- structure appropriate for a 3rd-grader.
Now, I use children’s books in my foreign language classroom all the time so, yes, “younger” books can help teach older students basic language skills … we learn the future & conditional tenses with “Si le des una galletita a un ratón” (“If You give A Mouse A Cookie”) and the correct conjugation of verbs like “gustar” with “Huevos verdes con jamón” (“Green Eggs & Ham”). But will High-Low fiction books come across as contrived and textbook-y since they were written with an educational goal rather than a literary one? I will be interested to check these out and see.
So what do you think of the High-Lo concept? Is it a literary cop-out? Or is it a good way to teach language-learning, even if the target is not a second language but a native one?