Today is Sunday (domingo) and the first day of a new week of language learning. It’s also the day when I set myself a new goal.
Reading a book in Spanish
Goal: To read an entire book in Spanish.
If I read 5 pages per day, I should complete my book (which has 420 pages) in 3 months and so my deadline for completing the book is 14/09/15.
So today I start reading a new book in Spanish, in fact I read a few pages this morning. It’s called:
‘Te vas sin decir adiós’
(You left without saying goodbye) by Sarah Dessen.
I chose this book because I could read the storyline on the back cover which is always a good sign!
It also seemed to be quite interesting too. It’s a book for young adults which is a step up from reading children’s books such as ‘Tiny el pato’ (Tiny the duck) which is easy to read but not that interesting for an adult!
Actually, I’ve found it quite hard to find books that are both interesting and at the same time at the right language level for me.
I’ve purchased a few books such as Pedida (‘Gone girl‘ in English) because I already know the story (I’ve watched the film starring one of my favourite actresses, Rosamund Pike) but often the language level is far too advanced for me even though I know the story.
So anyhow, I found my new book in a Spanish bookshop in La Zenia shopping centre, near to where I live in Spain.
As it’s for young adult readers I’m hoping that the language will be at the right level for an intermediate language learner such as myself and will also be enjoyable.
Also the text is not too small (if the text is too small it somehow just looks more difficult to read) and at a glance I can read many of the words, so ¡Ya veremos! (we’ll see!).
I follow quite a few language blogs and many advocate the importance of reading a book in your target language in order to acquire new vocabulary.
In fact they say that we learn vocabulary best when we combine context and interest and so I’m hoping that my new book will hold my interest enough so that I learn many new words and phrases.
Reading is also seen to be an important way to develop fluency in your target language. As the written word is more refined and rich than is everyday spoken language, it can help you to express yourself better and you can see how the words work within certain phrases.
I certainly believe this to be the case with my native language, English. People who are well read, in my experience, seem to have more knowledge and opinions on a wider range of subjects. They are also more interesting to be around.
I’ve read that it’s much better to read an entire book first without looking up words that you don’t know in a dictionary and then to go back and read it a second time looking up any words that you don’t know. That way the flow of reading is not disrupted and you can enjoy the story.
Well, although I agree that this seems like a good idea (as there’s nothing worse than stopping every few words or sentences to look up a word in the dictionary) and I did initually intend to read the book in this way, after reading the first three pages twice and still not being able to understand enough of the story to enjoy it, I decided that this was not going to work for me.
So, I started the book again and this time I looked up any words that I didn’t know and made a note of their translation next to the word in the book.
I then went back and re-read the pages so that I could review the new words and also to see how they worked within the sentence or phrase. This was very satisfying as I was able to understand what I read completely and I also felt that I was learning some new vocabulary along the way. I’m hoping that reading the book in this way won’t become to tiresome though.
So, I intend to make a habit of reading 5 pages each morning before I get up and use the Google Translate app on my phone to quickly look up words that I don’t know.
¡Buena suerte a mí!
Time spent learning Spanish today: 45 minutes