How to Read in a Foreign Language
Read for the message
Determine what the selection is about.
- Determine what the author's message is.
Read with a purpose
- Read productively
- Accompany the author on a mental journey
- Look for guides and signs
- Study the introduction
- Be able to summarize the principal parts of the plot in Spanish.
Read without looking up every unknown word
- Read the entire selection once.
- Focus on the progression of the plot.
- Determine which words are important.
Read in Spanish
- Keep English translations out of your mind.
- Absorb the meaning in Spanish.
Read the story more than once
- 1st reading- determine the foundation and framework of the story.
- Subsequent readings- go beyond the plot and explore answers to the more profound questions.
Use the dictionary as a last resort
Learn to recognize the meanings of words.
- Be aware of cognates.
- Recognize word families.
- Use context clues.
Read the story aloud
- Improve pronunciation.
- Improve speed (fluency).
- Improve facility of speech.
Know the components of a short story
- the setting
- (la escena)- the time and place of the action
- the characters
- (los personajes)- who is involved and the roles they play
- the plot
- (el argumento)- the action of the story
- What happens
- When it happens
- To whom it happens
- the theme
- (el tema)- Understand what is said and what is meant.
- (el simbolismo)- the use of symbols of represent ideas.
- Levels of interpretation
- (niveles de interpretación)- how far the author's message can go.