Sometimes that hardest part of a new habit is getting started. Take the 30-Day Wikipedia Spanish Challenge, an on-your-own program to get you in the habit of reading Spanish daily. Here’s how it works:
Soccer under an overpass, Mexico City
- One Day 1, start at the Spanish language Wikipedia entry for Mexico.
- Read through the whole article, quickly. Get the main ideas. Skip over anything that not immediately clear. Make a mental note of one new thing that you learned or found interesting.
- Then go back over the entry, reading it slowly this time, word by word. Observe any vocabulary that is new, unfamiliar or interesting to you. Say it out loud. Can you guess the meaning from context? That’s possible more often than you might think. You may need to read on a bit further to get the gist of a new word or expression. Do the same for grammar. Make a mental note of a new word or expression you learned, or an important grammar point that was illustrated in the article.
- On your third pass through the entry, identify one Wikipedia link within in the article that you are interested in following. That’s where you’ll start on day 2. Click through to make sure that it is long and interesting enough to merit your attention.
- On Day 2, start at the Wikipedia link that you found interesting within the Day 1 article. Follow the steps above. On Day 3, start at the Wikipedia link that you found interesting within the Day 3 article. Follow the steps above. And so on.
- Repeat until Day 30.
After 30 days, you will have read and studied 30 Wikipedia pages that are interesting to you.
For this challenge, don’t stop to look up unfamiliar vocabulary. That’s a sure way to kill the flow while reading Spanish. If a word is important enough, you’ll be able to guess its meaning from context. If not, it will come up again down the road. In the meantime, just look a little more closely at the new vocabulary, planting it into your brain so that it will get your attention when you next see it in a different context. And if you never see it again, it probably wasn’t that important in the first place. Don’t clutter your brain with it.
For each day of this 30-day challenge, leave a comment below about that day’s activity:
- What Wikipedia page did you read that day?
- What interesting content did you learn from that day’s Wikipedia page?
- What interesting vocabulary or grammar point caught your eye on that day’s Wikipedia page?