The Power of Reading.
Stephen D. Krashen.
When second language acquirers read for pleasure, they develop the competence to move from the beginning “ordinary conversational” level where they can use the second language for more demanding purposes, such as the study of literature, business, and so on. As some of the studies discussed earlier in this volume show, when second language acquirers read for pleasure, they can continue to improve in their second language without classes, without teachers, without study, and even without people to converse with.
As I work (again) on learning Spanish, I am encouraged to see that ‘reading’ can be a primary learning tool. It is a challenge to find enough interesting material to read but the better my vocabulary gets the larger the pool of books become.
The only issue I see with a reading immersion program will be with pronunciation. Much like homeschooled kids, I can see that a lot can be learned when the student is self-directed and has a love for reading. My readers always had a vocabulary beyond their years but the obvious way we pronounce and accent words is something that can only be learned by hearing. Spanish may not be as prone to error as English since Spanish has rules that English learners would die for.
By augmenting my reading with listening, much of this problem will hopefully be mitigated. In my audio library on my phone, I have a half dozen ‘learning Spanish’ podcasts and 6 easy-Spanish books. I hope that listening to these spoken by native speakers will assist me in learning correct pronunciation.
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