Goal written by one of PBO’s Students: “Leer un libro en español.”
If reading a book in Spanish was a goal for you this year but the idea of it is incredibly overwhelming, I have a few tips for you.
– Decide how many pages are truly doable per day (one is perfectly fine) and read that many pages every day. Decide when you’re going to do it and make it part of your routine. Before you know it, you will have read an entire book en español!
– When you get to a word you don’t know, highlight it but don’t look it up right then. Read the entire paragraph and try to understand through context. If you’re not able to understand the jist of it, look up the words you highlighted after reading the paragraph. Write the meaning next to it and then read the paragraph again. It’s even better if you can wait until you’ve read the entire page. (I highly recommend buying books rather than getting them from the library for this particular purpose).
o Instead of writing the meaning of the word in English, I would recommend looking up synonyms in Spanish to see if you recognize one….that would allow you to stay completely in Spanish when you re-read it later. For example – “…lo que ella anhela…” – instead of writing “longs for” next to “anhela” it would be better to write “desea” o “quiere.”
– If reading is the point but you find that reading a book is just too much, try reading a magazine from cover to cover. The articles are shorter which makes it much less overwhelming 🙂 We have tons of magazines in Suite 209 in case you want to take one home.
– If you’ve never read a book in Spanish before, try a young adult book. The writing style and vocabulary is perfect for a first time reader…even more than a children’s book. Children’s books are meant to entertain little kids – they often use unusual words to make everything sound rhythmic. Young adult books are often easier to understand and written the way an actual person would speak (not like Dr. Seuss for example).
– Reading books that have been translated from English are easier than books originally written in Spanish. If you’re an avid reader or in an advanced or fluent class, I would absolutely recommend reading books originally written in Spanish. If you’re in an intermediate or advanced beginner class, you may want to try translated books first.
Optional Homework (Tues – Wed – Thurs classes)
The optional homework is to bring 2 current events topics to class next week. The topics can be about any type of news…politics, gossip, sports, science, local, foreign, serious, silly, controversial, whatever you want, as long as it’s news. You will be asked to share about your topic en español of course, so be ready! And no reading the article to your class…be ready to TALK about it 🙂
A few news sites in case you don’t know of any:
PS I recommend reading the article in Spanish and looking up vocabulary you don’t know, rather than translating news from English. Believe it or not, it will be easier and you will learn more 🙂
Optional Homework (Fri – Sat classes)
The optional homework is to spend 30 minutes or so exploringhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/.
For those of you that want more homework to learn faster, I would recommend spending 15 minutes on this site every day this week (5-7 days).