1 Book that Rekindled Reading Worldwide

I have a secret plan I will whisper to you. See, our child really likes a certain series of books, initials HP. I’ve found a way to make both of us happy; they get a good story and I subtly encourage Spanish immersion. How? I’ll start from the beginning:

Ediciones Salamandra has sold over 12 million Harry Potter books en español to readers in Spain and Latin America. They’ve sold Spanish copies to libraries across the US as well. At our house, we’ve read through the first three books of Harry Potter aloud in English, twice. We’re waiting two months until “Eagle” turns 11 to start on scarier book 4.

To bridge the gap, I have the Spanish audio CD for book one on hold at the library. Let’s talk about bilingual coaxing. Pick a high interest topic and discover a resource for it in Spanish. Movies and magazines work like a dream. However, books en español at an age appropriate level, and our child hits the brakes. So I’ll crab walk around it.

Theory: More Spanish input creates more Spanish output.

I’ll tell Eagle I have a surprise one afternoon pickup from school. I’ll pop in the CD and play Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal in Spanish. We’ll begin to say Harry Potter with Spanish vowels, which for these words are a lot like the British English ones! Once we hear the names of wizarding classes in Spanish and immerse ourselves in the story vocabulary, we’ll have conversations about the book en español. That’s my dream.

We’ll listen in the car, we’ll listen in the kitchen, anywhere at home, perhaps one day in a box with a fox. Yes, I think this will work well. I’ll report back on our progress. ¡Viva el español!

Have you listened to recorded books? How do you practice another language?

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco. ¡Olé! –Rebecca

¡Viva Harry! ¡Viva Hermione! ¡Viva Ron!
Rebecca Cuningham

20 thoughts on “1 Book that Rekindled Reading Worldwide

  1. I only listened to one audio book, but I listened to it more times than I can remember… It’s “Le petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I have it in Danish also, and I am trying to use it to get more familiar with sounds and ways to pronounce the words 🙂 I find it to be helpful 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Always a pleasure 🙂 And I agree, it is the perfect story for this… My grand mother had a vinyl record with the first version of the audio book, when I was a child, and I listened to it Everyday I visited her house, Following with the book. And I have very fond memories of these good old days! That’s probably one of the reasons I fell in love with words!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds wonderful. I have an enchanted memory like that of my grandmother – I listened and sang along to the Sound of Music soundtrack all the way through every day I visited her.


  2. I love the idea of audiobooks! I have been learning Spanish and one of my main goals is to read the entire Harry Potter series in Spanish. It has been quite a daunting task as I am only at an A2 level in the language and reading requires a higher level of grammar and much wider vocabulary than speaking does. However, I will definitely take this post as a sign that I should start working towards it again 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great! Another Harry Potter fan! I think that beginning with the audio book first could be nice as long as you are willing to accept not understanding everything like we do with our first language when we are young. You’ll get clues from the dramatic reading that will allow you to figure out more words. Let me know when you go for it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a lovely idea and I will bring it to my wife who is now en route to learning Spanish but getting too caught up in the grammar…great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s wonderful that she’s learning Spanish. It meant so much to me that my husband was willing to learn Spanish. One of the best ways I learned Spanish was speaking with my friends from Spanish speaking countries. Since you are in Valencia she had great opportunities for immersion. Buena suerte! Wishing her a great learning experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I use reading to boost my languages – I try to grab a magazine whenever I’m away and read as best I can. And I try to but books in the language too (depends on the language, though, as I’m certainly not up to a book in Japanese or Korean, for example) I actually like reading in a Kindle as I can just tap a word I don’t know and get the translation. But I don’t tap everything I don’t know – as you say, you have to let it flow a little and work it out from the context.

    And I hadn’t thought of using audio books – I must try that

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