Univision has several apps available for the iPad including “Univision”, “Noticias” and “Deportes”. I used the regular “Univision” app today and let my students explore different articles that would be of interest to them. I had first year students engaged in reading articles in Spanish because they would find things to read that they were actually interested in. As we talked about in our last post, making connections to students’ interests goes a long way in getting students interested in the language itself.
Whenever students are looking at a text, I remind them to use three strategies to help: 1) Cognates 2) Own vocabulary of words they have learned, and most importantly 3) context. It was also helpful to have the “Wordreference” app so students could look up definitions for important words. The four-finger swipe to switch between open apps is truly helpful too.
In the Univision App, clicking on “sitios” at the bottom brings you to varioustopics or themes, as seen below.
Obviously, Entretenimiento, Deportes, and Belleza y Moda were the more popular ones with teenage students. Under each category were sub-categories as well. While “Vida y Familia” may not sound too engaging, if you click on the sub-category “Mascotas” you will find some interesting stories such as “El perro más grande en el mundo.“
And many students, (ok, mostly girls) were excited to read about the nueva película de One Direction. Or reading about the fashion of Taylor Swift.
The funniest part is that when a student was watching a clip of an NFL game in Spanish, he thought he was in trouble for looking at it, and he was quite excited that when I saw it, I encouraged it. Let students explore their interests in the target language; that’s how we get them hooked on the language for the future.