3 reasons why parallel texts help you learn Spanish

On my walk today, I snapped a photo of these bumper stickers and thought that they are a fantastic example of parallel texts! Plus, the messages on them are important 🙂

See below for questions to answer in the comments!

Parallel texts are direct translations from a student’s first language (L1) to a student’s second language (L2). There is some controversy around whether parallel texts are useful for language learners, but here are some of the benefits of using parallel texts in learning Spanish (or any language).

#1 – They can help students to read texts above their current level.

#2 – They encourage students to pick up details about differences or similarities in vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc.

#3 – Learning vocabulary in-context (i.e. reading it in authentic texts or “coming upon” the vocabulary in an authentic way) is more efficient for students to remember new vocabulary. Parallel texts allow students to encounter new vocabulary in an authentic way, yet not get stuck if they don’t know many words.

Answer in the comments:

1) What differences and similarities stand out to you most in terms of vocabulary, grammar, etc. between the Spanish and English versions?

2) How much of the Spanish bumper sticker did you understand before AND after reading the English one?

3) Did you learn anything new about Spanish through these bumper stickers?

4) What do you think are some downsides to learning using parallel texts?

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Image descriptions:

Image 1: A bumper sticker with text in the shape and colors of the American flag that reads “En nuestra América todas las personas son iguales, el amor gana, las vidas negras importan, los inmigrantes y refugiados son bienvenidos, las discapacidades son respetadas, las mujeres son dueñas de su cuerpo, la gente y el planeta tienen más valor que el dinero, se celebra la diversidad”

Image 2: A bumper sticker with the same text translated into English in rainbow colors “In our America, all people are equal, love wins, Black lives matter, immigrants and refugees are welcome, disabilities are respected, women are in charge of their bodies, people & planet are valued over profit, diversity is celebrated.”

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