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Spanish Final Project: Spanish news article summary

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For this assignment, you will read and summarize a Spanish language news article of your choosing. You can find several up-to-date news sites from all over Latin America and Spain at www.prensaescrita.com, as well as www.dailyearth.com. While these two sites feature links to Spanish language newspapers, you can also find plenty of news relating to entertainment, music, gossip, celebrities, sports, etc. at www.univision.com, www.peopleenespanol.com, http://cnnespanol.cnn.com, and of course, the almighty Google.

This article will be graded on (1) a summary of the article or news item selected, and (2) your reaction to and thoughts about what you have read. The summary portion can be in English (with some Spanish if you want to try it), but your thoughts and reaction must be in SPANISH.

In selecting an article or news item to summarize, please keep the following in mind:


1)    Try to choose something that interests you. If you like sports, look for news about the Chilean soccer team. If you like music, try to find a concert or album review. The point is to find something that will help you learn vocabulary that you will be likely to use when discussing your interests with others.

2)    Don’t rely on a dictionary. As hard as this may sound, you will be able to understand more than you think buy using other clues before resorting to looking up every word. Excessive dictionary use is exhausting, painful, and doesn’t tend to help you retain new words. Instead, look first for (a) visual cues, (b) previous knowledge, and (c) cognates.

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  1. Visual cues: Look at the pictures! They are worth a thousand words, especially in a language where you don’t know that many words yet.
  2. Previous knowledge: You will find that Spanish-language news will have many of the same events that are covered in the English language press. I am continually amazed at how often news from the US (even news that doesn’t seem at all relevant to Latin America) ends up in Latin American papers.
  3. Cognates: A cognate (cognado in Spanish) is a word that you can usually easily understand in a foreign language because it looks a lot like the English word and has the same meaning. Some examples are Universidad, calendar, teléfono, computadora, atlético, etc. Spanish has thousands of words that have a cognate in English.

The summary is worth 7.5 points and will be graded according to length and content.  I am not as concerned with the accuracy of your understanding as I am with the effort that you make to understand and learn. If your summary shows a decent interpretation of the content of the article based on your reading of cognates, visual cues, etc., then your grade will reflect that. It must be at least a paragraph. A paragraph is not just one sentence, but a group of sentences that contain a single idea.  One-sentence responses will receive no points for the summary portion.

The second paragraph (also worth 7.5 points) will be your reaction in Spanish to the content of the article. In Spanish 101, I do not expect your sentences to be tremendously complex, but I do expect you to use as much as you can of the grammar and vocabulary you have been studying.

Formatting of this assignment should be consistent with other college papers and should include your name, date, and section number. Include your summary paragraph, your thoughts/reaction (in Spanish), and copy and paste the text of your article, (along URL where the article was found) at the end of the paper. Submit by email and include “Spanish news summary” in the subject line.


Please make the assignment a good length but no need to make it more than two-three full paragraphs. This is for a second level collegiate Spanish class, so we have just learned the preterite tense and double object pronouns. We only know present tense and preterite so please don’t use other tenses if possible. The assignment can use both English and Spanish so the summary part can be in English if you prefer!

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