Parallel texts – How they can enhance learning and effectively scaffold reading proficiency development

The Language Gym

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A few days ago, one of my colleagues approached me in the MFL Department corridor to share a resource he referred to as ‘Parallel texts’ from Steve Smith’s www.frenchteacher.net . ‘This is excellent!’ – he said, showing me a worksheet (here: http://frenchteachernet.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/parallel-reading-texts-for-near.html) . This contained a text in French on daily routine on the left hand-side and its translation on the right; some comprehension activities were included, too. ‘My students find them very useful!’ he added.

I hardly needed any convincing as I had used Parallel Texts (French / Italian) myself in the past when working as a translator for the European Union in order to refine my English, day in day out for a few months – and it paid off; my English vocabulary, syntax and awareness of text-specific discourse features grew exponentially as a result. In this article I will show what the potential benefits of using…

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