Help Spanish Speakers Build English Vocabulary
Spanish speakers are in the position to quickly and easily attain English vocabulary. At least 40% of English words share Latin cognates. Below are sophisticated English words closely related to common Spanish expressions. Try introducing one or two a day. You’ll not only boost your students’ vocabulary; you’ll train them to look for “handles” on words based on what they already know!
And watch out! Not all words that look related mean the same thing in English and Spanish. Explain to your students that there are certain false cognates or “amigos falsos.” Here’s a list of a few of the common ones.
Spanish word English meaning
Asistir Attend, not “assist”
Carpeta Folder, not “carpet”
Desgracia Misfortunate, not “disgrace”
Discutir To argue, not “discuss” (especially in Mexico)
Embarazada Pregnant, not “embarrassed”
Guardar To put away, not “to guard”
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As a musician, publisher, and award-winning author, Matthew Gollub celebrates reading for FUN. He combines humor, practical insights, storytelling, and drumming to thoroughly engage listeners of all backgrounds and ages. Each year, Matthew speaks at over 60 schools and education events around the U.S. and abroad. For more information about his keynote addresses, bilingual workshops, and singular school assemblies for grades pre-k through 8th grades, please click on a link below.
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