Updated: Aug 5, 2021
Want to get ahead in A Level Spanish? Adeline picks out two Spanish papers which are essential reading for Spanish students.
In today’s post, I want to continue our series on foreign newspapers, and hopefully provide you with a couple more ideas of papers to look out for to widen your horizons and polish up your language skills while on holiday.
I decided to look at newspapers in Spanish today — but not just from Spain! I believe it’s always good to make the effort to get exposure to different varieties of the language and different cultures within the same language, as the daily life of someone living in Andalucía in Spain is likely to be hugely different from someone living in Bogotá in Colombia, even though they share a language.
Once again, most of my suggestions are authentic sources, as opposed to documents prepared for learners, so they are suitable for more advanced learners — sixth formers working towards their A-Levels or University students for instance.
This is probably the most famous of the Spanish newspapers — or “periódicos”. The website has so many sections and versions that it might feel overwhelming at first, but it’s clear and easy to navigate, so you should be able to get used to finding the items of news you are interested in in no time! There have 5 different versions: Spain, South America, Brazil, Catalonia, as well as an English version — they are aiming to be an “international newspaper” (“el periódico global”).
Of course, the Brazilian version is in Portuguese and the Catalonian version in Catalan, so I would recommend leaving these aside at first, unless you feel particularly adventurous and want to test your deduction skills!
In the Spanish or South American sections, I would suggest that you start by looking at topics that you feel familiar with, so you can start identifying vocabulary you already know and build your confidence. There’s a “medio ambiente” section which will be reminiscent of the A-Level syllabus, with a wide range of articles dealing with everything from sheep painted pink at a UK festival to a debate on climate change and social justice.
The English version might be worth checking if you are interested in knowing more about some cultural elements: at the moment, they are running a series on “Sanfermines”, a festival taking place every year in Pamplona. I’ve also really enjoyed reading an article in the “Spanish Stereotype” section, where they challenge the “absurdly folksy image of Spaniards in a scene set in Málaga airport” in the US film “Murder Mystery”.
EFE is a Spanish international news agency and is the biggest Spanish wire service. On their website, you will find a wealth of articles written in a no-nonsense style. There are many different sections focusing on various aspects, but I would particularly recommend the “Mujeres Para Inspirarte” series (“Inspiring Women”). There are short interviews with women who are commenting on the role of feminism, their position in society, and what to do to achieve more equality.
Even though these resources are not particularly tailored for language learners, they are very conveniently presented: each article is formatted in the same way, with an introduction of the interviewee, the transcript of the interview and the video of the interview itself. This is a great opportunity to test your listening skills. For example, take this article: “Vanessa de Velasco: ser piloto es una profesión invisible para las niñas” — try and read the title first and guess what the interview is going to be about. Once you have given it some thought, play the video and listen carefully, making notes if needed. You should have been able to pick up words and themes, and even full sentences.
You can then use the transcript as an answer sheet and compare what you heard. Once you have the text in front of you, everything will probably become much clearer — feel free to play the interview one more time and listen out for the bits you initially missed. EFE also has a website dedicated to learners of Spanish, Practica Español, which is better for less advanced learners, possibly at GCSE Level.
Reading newspapers offers great opportunities to develop your vocabulary or grammar whatever your level is. Hopefully you’ll find something that works for you in this list!
Blog Post Crafted by Adeline
Adeline runs our Admin Team. With a PhD in English, she can call herself a doctor but can’t write prescriptions!
Adeline manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors, as well as taking tuition enquiries, matching tutors to clients, and supporting tutors and clients throughout the process of tuition.