Author Spotlight: Adriana Ramírez
An excerpt from an interview with Dr. Stephen Krashen, internationally recognized as one the leading experts on language acquisition. His career spans 60 years and he is a polyglot who acquires new languages for fun. The entire interview is on youtube here:
When I go home, I’ve been reading lots and lots of very easy Spanish.
These are called graded readers... I’ve been doing them in Spanish and I have found a couple of authors who are very good.
The graded readers have improved a lot and some of them are literature.
They're good, good stories. Adriana Ramirez is my favorite author now. I’ve been in contact with her.
I’ve read a couple. I’ll tell you about a wonderful book so you see how good this is.
A young man goes to Colombia. He's in Colombia in the city of Medellín and he knows a little bit of Spanish. He had it from school but he gets lost. He doesn't know where he is he's out walking. He finds another young man and he says to him in simple Spanish, “Help me. I’m lost” and the person answers him and says,
“Where are you going? Oh, I'm going to this hotel come with me. I’ll take you.”
They start walking together. They meet three beautiful young ladies. This is a great story. The young ladies come up to his new friend and give him hugs, give him kisses, hold his hand.
He says “Oh, good to see you. Good to see you.”
And then he introduces the young ladies to his new friend and they do the same with him. They give him hugs. They're very warm.
Then the two boys go on their way and the guide tells the narrator,
“Don't worry about what happened. These girls I have known since I was a little boy. Two of them are my cousins. One of them is a friend. There's no romance going on. This is simply the way we are in Colombia. This is ordinary. “
In other words what the author has done is to tell an interesting story and teach a little bit about culture. The whole book is like that. Sort of unusual incidents that are explained as normal parts of the culture.
So you see these books are getting more and more interesting. I’ve been reading a lot of them and I'm getting better and it's easy. I can now read authentic, real Spanish. It's a little more difficult, but when I get a good author, I can read it and make sense out of it and skip a few words etc but I am basically improving. This is my talk today. This is my message. I could stop here and that would be enough.
Okay, we get better when we get input we don't have to know every word.
We don't have to speak. And that is my message. And books are a
wonderful way of doing this. Stories.