Some pieces of advice on readers

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

reader rob cru

reader: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Oxford Bookworms)

Whenever you read a line in loud voice try to do your best. We learn a foreign language by imitating sounds and rhythms. Remember that some words such as “island”, “walk”, “half”, “could”, “would” contain mute letters (the “s” is mute in “island” and the “l” is mute in the following words mentioned above “walk”, “half”, etcetera)

There is a typical confussion with the verb “to live” (vivir) [pronounced with a short i] and the noun “life” (vida) [pronounced /ai/ ]

Reading a story, a short story helps us to revise and consolidate verbal tenses and formulas as in “I didn´t want that” (the negative form of the simple past tense with lexical verbs). Vocabulary matters too.

The English language has its own tricks called “false friends” which lead us to misunderstanding words. (Examples: library does not mean “librería” but “biblioteca”, actually does not mean “actualmente” but “realmente”, exciting does not mean “excitante” but “emocionante”)

Do not forget the correct use of verbal tenses. I have written (present perfect simple) must be translated as “yo he escrito” (pretérito perfecto compuesto). Some messages in a text might seem difficult to understand although most times they aren´t. Take this one, for example:

Have you ever been alone?

This is a present perfect simple tense in the interrogative form. The word “ever” is the problematic point here. For questions in the present perfect “ever” means “alguna vez”.

Grammar is always vital in language.

Reading a story implies understanding a plot, empathising with the characters, and learning words and expressions. While you read a book take a pencil and a dictionary. Underline words, verbs, take notes, circle proper names.

A big mistake some students make when reading a novel consists of forgetting the author´s name or what´s worse changing the author´s name for the protagonist of the story. So, we hear in the classroom that the author of Daniel Defoe is Robinson Crusoe. [It is the other way round: the author of Robinson Crusoe is the writer Daniel Defoe]


Be good & good luck!    



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