Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Reading Experiment

I'm conducting a very informal reading experiment this summer with my daughter.  She finished Spanish 1 in June and she will have Spanish 2 in the fall.  I asked her a few days ago if she wanted to read a Spanish book with me and she consented.

I chose Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto by Mira Canion and Carol Gaab as our first book.  I read a paragraph or two in Spanish and then she reads the same paragraph in English.  When she comes across a word that she doesn't know at first sight, I allow her time to figure out the word from context.  If she doesn't know it, I tell her the English translation and she continues with the sentence.  

Some days I need to ask her a few times before she is ready to read and today was one of those days.  She agreed and we started reading the 4th chapter of Piratas.  It was interesting today because about half way through the chapter, I realized that her reading was notably better than it had been in the previous three chapters.  By the 4th chapter the characters are established and from her reading she obviously has become accustomed to the authors' writing styles.  I noticed that she is improving on small things like possessive structures (written without the apostrophe 's as in English), the "le" that is used in phrases like "le grita" or "le pregunta", and shows little or no hesitation reading the different forms (nosotros, tú, yo, etc.) of the verbs.  

We will finish this book in 5 days or less and then we'll read the present tense version of El Nuevo Houdini.  After we finish Houdini, I'll ask her to choose between Noches misteriosas en Granda or Robo en la nocheWhen we move onto books that include the past tenses, I'm not planning on giving her any grammatical explanations unless she wants clarification as she is reading.  My guess is that she'll be able to translate it correctly simply from seeing it in context.  Time will tell.

I hope she continues to enjoy the reading time we have together.  One benefit is that when she starts Spanish 2 this fall, she'll have a larger vocabulary and better understanding of Spanish.  More importantly, I'm able to spend quality time with my teen-age daughter by reading together, just like we used to do when she was a little girl, but this time it's in Spanish.  Good times!

1 comment:

  1. My son is a huge reader, but I don't think I could convince him to do this in Spanish without lots of bribing... That is such great practice for your daughter!! I will run this by my kid & see what he thinks.