Importance of Reading in Learning Spanish

Reading is more often than not ignored by the beginner and intermediate level learners of a language. Though in many cases, not much emphasis is placed on reading, it plays an important role in learning the language. Reading helps in building competence in a language over time. Hence, it is critical for a learner to do plenty of reading throughout the language learning process.

Reading is a basic skill and activity in learning Spanish
Reading gives access to knowledge. It also helps build skills in comprehending, retaining and applying the language skills already gained. It is one of the best ways to improve your overall grasp of the language. Good reading skills have a direct effect on the ability to write, listen and speak Spanish.

Further, reading facilitates implicit learning of words – where you can understand the meaning of unfamiliar words based on context or pictures. This means you won’t be entirely dependent on standard language resources like the dictionary to learn the language.

Read books that interest you
Reading should be enjoyable. Read with the intent of deriving pleasure from the text. Learners feel motivated to read more if they love the topic, so choose texts that motivate you or interest you to read. Also, to keep your interest in reading alive, it is suggested that you always be on the lookout for new articles and texts that are compelling.

Choose books based on your level of learning Spanish
Reading is an individual activity; hence, you can choose books appropriate to your level of Spanish.

As a beginner, do not opt for complicated texts like novels. Select books that have simple text and are easy to understand. Comics and short tales help you to get used to Spanish in the early stages. These books are also greatly helpful in implicit learning of Spanish vocabulary.

If you are at the intermediate level, you can opt for higher level texts since you are already good with the basics. Read a variety of articles and books that improve your language skills and introduce you to different styles of Spanish as well.

If you are an advanced learner, you can opt for high quality literature which can improve your overall proficiency in Spanish.

Intensive and extensive reading – both are important
There are two types of reading methods in any language – intensive and extensive reading. Intensive reading involves reading grammar books, text books or any other material that helps learners to practice grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension by providing detailed notes and some supplementary activities. On the other hand, extensive reading is reading that goes beyond text books. It is a free, voluntary activity that contributes to a general understanding of the language.

While intensive reading can develop your language and comprehension skills, extensive reading helps in improving your overall fluency (written and oral) in Spanish.

Reading improves Spanish language skills
Reading contributes to overall competence in the Spanish language. It will help you improve your grammar, vocabulary, comprehension skills and fluency of speech. It helps you understand the individual sentences, comprehend ideas, and understand how to present ideas in a better way, follow arguments and interpret the meanings of unfamiliar words while learning the usage of familiar words.

Good readers tend to make a lot less mistakes with the usages of prepositions and phrasal verbs. And also, reading speed is said to have a direct impact on the fluency of speech.

Reading enables faster progress in learning Spanish
Reading is a silent activity, so the learner gives maximum attention to the language. Though reading develops passive understanding of the language, it also plays a great role in promoting the active usage of language. It makes a learner confident in applying his/her own Spanish language skills. Reading enables faster progress in learning Spanish as it exposes you to a wide range of grammar usage, allows you to see different forms of grammatical structures, builds vocabulary, and introduces you to common and not so common phrases.

Compared to the three other skills of a language (writing, listening and speaking), reading is most instrumental in transforming language learners to language users.