We’ve all read how the tweens/teens stage is hard. It’s even harder to encourage them to read especially if it’s reading in the minority language. With that being said, I’m happy to share what I’ve been doing to promote reading in Spanish in our home. These tips apply to any language too!

Five tips to encourage our older kids to read in the minority language:

1) Ensure the books in the minority language aren’t beyond your child’s reading abilities.  I initially started with Spanish junior chapter books but he was getting bored and the Spanish YA books were hard to read due to the advanced-level vocabulary that made it challenging for him.  This in return caused a lot of frustrations and it discouraged him from actually reading these books.

2) Look for a variety of reading materials.  My 11-year-old is at an advanced reading level in English but not in the minority language.  Long gone are the days of Spanish board books and easy-to-read picture books.  We’re currently reading Spanish-language comics.  I was lucky to find some in Puerto Rico and I also ordered a popular comic series Tato y Kenepo. Read to the end so you can check out our comic book recommendations.

3) Set aside some time for reading. We’ve set 30 minutes of screen-free time to read daily.

4) Model behavior. While he’s reading, I’m reading, too!  If he has questions or doesn’t know how to pronounce a word he can ask me.

5) Read aloud to your older kids especially if the book is difficult for them to read.  It helps with vocabulary building and pronunciation of words in the minority language.

I’ve had to shift my focus on providing him with Spanish language comics to read and as an extension activity, he creates his own comic strips!  Click here to get your free comic printables! Available in Spanish and English.

If you have older kids, what else would you add to encourage reading?

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