As I mentioned in my last post about children’s novels, I like to learn through reading. While I’m generally more drawn to novels, I also make an effort to read articles on a regular basis.
This is easy to do with VeinteMundos, a beautifully designed free site chock full of articles with supporting visuals. The name “VeinteMundos” refers to the 20 countries that claim Spanish as an official language. Every two weeks, VeinteMundos offers a new article highlighting an aspect of one of those countries.
The articles are split into four categories: arte y cultura; viajar y geografia; sociedad y economia; y historias cortas. The beauty of this is that not only will you practice your Spanish, you’ll also be able to immerse yourself virtually in the many cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
Each full-length article includes:
- text with mouse-over translations for new vocabulary and an embedded dictionary that allows you to double-click on any other word
- an audio recording of the article so that you can read and listen at the same time
- a summary of the article with easier text for beginners
- grammar, comprehension and vocabulary exercises at various levels of difficulty (note: I’ve never used any of these, so can’t speak to their quality)
- multiple videos and sites related to the topic (both embedded and linked)
- several videos and sites about travel and culture in the highlighted country (both embedded and linked)
I get a notice in my inbox whenever a new article is posted. I read the article once with the audio to get a general idea, and then read it again more slowly, taking time to puzzle out any new words or expressions. The embedded dictionaries make this extremely easy to do! If I find the article particularly interesting, I might revisit it a third time, either reading the text with the audio or listening to the audio on its own, without the text.
I use a variety of different resources, and I am generally more drawn to fiction – novels, movies, television shows. I probably don’t spend more than an hour on Veinte Mundos every few weeks. But that hour is time well-spent! I think that this could easily become a key resource for someone who prefers to learn through nonfiction and informational text and video.
Check it out – I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!