Language Learning

Tips for Dual Language Independent Reading

My son is in third grade and he’s reading independently. Because he’s in a dual language program, he is reading in both English and Spanish. Here are some tips and questions to help children with their Dual Language Independent Reading: 

  1. It’s about reading, but it is also a lot about comprehension. So get kids thinking about the story above and beyond what is on the page. Use the questions below to help you. 
  2. Model reading for your children so they can see that you too are a reader. My son and I sometimes read together at night, we sit next to each other each with a book in hand. When he has questions, he asks me. 
  3. Don’t be afraid to try other means of reading. When a friend suggested doing audiobooks with my kiddo I was taken a bit aback because I thought to myself, “Audiobook? Isn’t the point to READ?” but then I realized a few things: first, audiobooks give an opportunity to practice those comprehension skills which our kids so desperately need. 
  4. It’s OK (and encouraged!) to read to your kids! One of the things I thought I should stop doing when my son was old enough to read on his own was to read to him, but I discovered that 1. they do read-alouds in school and 2. it’s a great opportunity to bond with your little one and 3. kids love when you read to them (at least mine does)… funny voices help. Now we alternate, he reads a page or two, I read a page or two. 
  5. Don’t forget to have fun. Reading should always be fun, so find books your child is interested in. In my case, my son currently loves to read the soccer magazines for soccer information (that is definitely independent reading LOL). Sometimes, he reads to his sister which makes him feel special and grown up. Sometimes I read to both of them! 

Questions for Dual Language Independent Reading

  1. What is the story about?
  2. Who is the main character? Does s/he have any special traits? 
  3. What is happening with the character?
  4. Does the main character have a problem? 
  5. How is the character trying to solve the problem?
  6. What do you think will happen next? 
  7. Where is the story taking place? (What is the setting of the story?)
  8. What is the main idea of the story?
  9. What are some details that support the main idea?
  10. Does the character have a message for the readers? 
  11. Are there any lessons the story teaches us?
  12. What was the first thing that happened?
  13. What was the last thing that happened?
  14. Are there other characters that are important to the story?
  15. What do you think the outcome will be? Will the character solve his/her problem? 

kid reading independently

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Note: For parents who are monolingual and have their children in bilingual programs, I encourage you to seek out perhaps a study buddy or plan reading dates where children can help each other. 

Here are the dual language independent reading questions in Spanish: 

  1. ¿De qué se trata la historia?
  2. ¿Quién es el personaje principal? ¿Tiene él / ella algún rasgo especial?
  3. ¿Qué está pasando con el personaje principal?
  4. ¿El personaje principal tiene un problema?
  5. ¿Cómo está tratando de resolver el problema el personaje?
  6. ¿Qué crees que pasará después?
  7. ¿En qué lugar pasa esta historia? (¿Cuál es el ambiente del cuento?)
  8. ¿Cuál es la idea principal de la historia?
  9. ¿Cuáles son algunos detalles que respaldan la idea principal?
  10. ¿El personaje tiene un mensaje para los lectores?
  11. ¿Hay alguna lección que la historia nos enseñe?
  12. ¿Qué fue lo primero que pasó?
  13. ¿Qué fue lo último que sucedió?
  14. ¿Hay otros personajes que son importantes en la historia?
  15. ¿Cuál crees que será el resultado? ¿El personaje resolverá su problema?



Featured image: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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