12 Proven Methods For Reading Better In Spanish
Do you read in Spanish? As a Spanish learner, knowing how to read in Spanish is essential.
The great thing is that Spanish is a phonetic language. That means we pronounce the words the same way they are written.
Moreover, reading in a foreign language opens the door to a new world of stories, cultures, and traditions. Reading in Spanish is also one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary. It helps you build a personal dictionary of words and phrases in Spanish.
Keep reading this article to discover a multitude of strategies for learning how to read in Spanish—and access links to a myriad of good books to read in Spanish!
12 Ways To Improve Your Spanish Reading Skills
Reading automatically makes you more familiar with Spanish sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar. What’s more, reading enables you to discover the nuances of Spanish-speaking cultures.
Let’s dive into the 12 ways you can start enhancing your Spanish reading skills today!
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1. Choose Material That Makes You Want To Read
If you’re a beginner, the way to start learning how to read in Spanish is with brief, bite-sized texts. In any case, reading about subjects that interest you makes the process more enjoyable and sustainable.
Check out one of these articles to get started—or search our vast Homeschool Spanish Academy blog for topics that interest you.
- 10 Spanish Articles for Beginners: Learn to Read the News
- Spanish Sports Vocabulary and Conversation: A Beginner’s Guide
- 1,000 Most Common Spanish Words for Beginners
- A Complete Vocab Guide to Yoga in Spanish
- A-Z Guide on Spanish Art Words
2. Start Small
To avoid overwhelm and burnout, children’s books, poetry, and easy short stories are good resources to begin with.
Here are some relevant resources to explore with easy books to read in Spanish.
- 15 Children’s Spanish Books With Free PDF Download
- Top 10 Best Books to Learn Spanish for Adults
- 10 Websites Offering Short Stories in Spanish for Beginners
3. Make Note of Titles and Captions
Learning how to read in Spanish is a challenge for a beginner. Make sure that you can read and understand the titles and headings. Pay attention to images and their captions to get an idea of the style and content of the text.
4. Draw On Your Previous Knowledge of the Topic
Some of the material you read in Spanish probably covers topics you’ve already learned about in your native language. Recalling your prior knowledge of the topic supports your ability to decode the text in Spanish.
5. Get the General Idea
First, skim the text to get a basic idea of the meaning without reading it carefully or trying to understand it all. Go back and read it more in-depth the second time.
6. Use Cognates
Cognates are words that look and sound similar in Spanish and English. Usually, it’s because they share the same Latin root word! Finding the cognates in the text you’re reading helps support your understanding of the text.
7. Use Your Knowledge of Grammar
Understanding how to construct Spanish sentences helps you decode their meaning. Identify the parts of speech like the subject, verb, and direct object. This comes in handy when you encounter a complex sentence. Breaking it down is the key to comprehension.
Review here: Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 8 Parts of Speech
8. Read Bilingual Books
Some English books include a Spanish translation on the opposite page, facilitating your reading and learning experience. This way, you won’t have to refer to the dictionary to look up every unfamiliar word. If you’re unclear on the meaning or message of a sentence, the translation is easily accessible and there to help you.
9. Listen While You Read
Listening to Spanish audiobooks while following along with the text is super beneficial for beginners. You not only hear the pronunciation, accent, and intonation of natural Spanish but also see the words in action, along with their spelling, accent marks, and syntax.
10. Take Notes
Take notes while you read in Spanish to ensure that you’re understanding what you’re reading.
While it’s not realistic or recommended to stop and translate all the unfamiliar words you come across, it is helpful to jot down the keywords.
Keep a dedicated notebook and add them to your vocabulary list. Along with the word, write the translation and a short and simple example sentence that implies or gives the meaning of the word.
11. Read Aloud
Reading the text out loud is the best way to work on your Spanish pronunciation and fluency.
By saying a word aloud, you create muscle memory. Repeating the same word leads to the development of more muscle memory, enabling you to pronounce the word correctly.
Getting used to speaking out loud in Spanish enhances your oral fluency and speaking skills.
In fact, research shows that reading a word, speaking it aloud, and hearing yourself say it creates a memorable experience. Studies show that this is the best way to store new vocabulary in your long-term memory! Therefore, reading books aloud (multiple times) is a fabulous way to learn and memorize new Spanish vocabulary in context.
Looking for books to read in Spanish? Here are a ton of resources to access reading material:
- 11 Hispanic Culture Books You Need to Read
- 20 Free Spanish Books, Novels, and Stories in PDF
- 12 Mexican Children’s Books That Your Family Will Love
- 15 Free Bilingual Books in Spanish and English Online
- Best Intermediate Spanish Books for Adults (B1-B2)
- 25 Free Printable Spanish E-Books for Adults
12. Use a Spanish Reading App
Last but not least, using apps to learn Spanish is both educational and entertaining. Take a look at the Top 5 Reading Apps to Improve Your Reading Skills in Spanish.
Read and Speak Spanish
Reading is an excellent way to improve your fluency—and having conversations in Spanish is where your new skills can shine.
Learning Spanish provides you with a slew of benefits. You could earn more money—anywhere from $50,000 to $125,000 extra—just by knowing a foreign language.
What’s more, interpreters and translators are among the 5 fastest-growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To rocket your Spanish skills to the next level, sign up for a free trial class with one of our wonderful, certified teachers from Guatemala!
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