As I mentioned on Monday, we have a half-price ‘eBook of the Week’ offer going on, and this time it’s the same story, originally written in Italian, then localised into three other languages.
And my Reading Challenge (which I invited anyone interested to join me in) was to read a chapter a day, for eight days, until I finished the story.
Of course, my Italian is way better than the level of this week’s ebook (I read Italian at C2, the ebook is A1-A2, understand levels by reading this article), so I’m doing the French and Spanish versions instead, and comparing the experience. My French is around B1, though rusty, while my Spanish is probably A1-A2, with gaping holes where the grammar should be (as I’ve been too lazy to study it.)
Anyway, today is Day 3 and I will be doing Chapter 3, having managed a chapter a day so far, without too much effort.
I read and listen at the same time, which gets me through it quickly, though of course I don’t understand everything. Next I read only (Spanish) or listen only (French, my level is higher, remember?) And the third time I listen only (Spanish) and read only (French).
And then I stop, and go do something else.
The whole process takes only about ten minutes per language, as the chapters are very short. As you can see, my approach varies according to my level in the language, and my objectives: for French I want to improve my listening comprehension skills, and know that there’ll be little in the text to trouble me, so I prioritise listening without the text as the second stage; for Spanish, the language is less familiar and my listening skills are quite good anyway (Spanish is like Italian, and I listen to Spanish radio), so at stage 2 I focus on the text and give myself time to reflect on how Spanish is, on any similarites with Italian or French, and so on. Occasionally I look up a word or phrase on Google, but not as a general rule.
Stage 1: read AND listen
Stage 2: prioritise one or the other, so either read only or listen only, according to my strengths/weaknesses and goals
Stage 3: whatever I didn’t do in Stage 2, or just repeat Stage 1
Works for me, anyway, and as I mentioned, it doesn’t take long. This isn’t ‘studying’, remember, this is ‘promoting a learning habit’, so doing a chapter a day, regular exposure and practice, extended over time – this way, focusing on skills, rather than just on grammar as is so often the case, in a year you could go from zero to hero!
Anyway, if you’d like to join me in my chapter-a-day reading challenge, you’ll find the half-price ebooks on the homepage of our online shop.
Or, if you don’t want to part with any cash (which is absolutely fine), you’ll find a FREE easy reader for each of the above mentioned languages in our online Catalog. The ‘easy readers’ are what you need, not the ‘parallel texts’, which don’t have audio.
A venerdì, allora.
EasyItalianNews.com has broken the nine-thousand barrier!
We now have 9042 (free) subscribers, who all receive three simplified bulletins of news in Italian (audio + text) each Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday, the whole thing paid for with donations (see who).
And if you want to know how I suggest you use that material (basically the same as I outline above), check out the ‘Advice’ page.