Me Gusta vs. Me Cae bien

If you like it, put a ME GUSTA stamp on it

Obviously me gusta is an important phrase in Spanish 1 classes, but sometimes we tend to over simplify things and forget that another word also means “to like”: caerse bien. When we like things and activities, Me gusta is the way to go, but when we like people, we have to be careful. In English, saying you like someone can be confusing.

Teenage girl: What do you think about Jon?
Teenage friend: He’s nice, I like him.
Teenage girl: Yeah, but do you like him, or like-like him?
<Giggles ensue>

We all know that liking Jon would be that she likes his personality; that he is a nice person. And we also know that “like-liking” him would be more in a romantic sense. English is confusing! Lucky for us, Spanish gives us two separate words for this to avoid confusion.

With people:
Me gusta = like-like, in a romantic sense.  (Me gustas, quiero ser tu novio)
Me cae bien= like, as a person.  (Un gusto conocerte, me caes super bien)

So to say “Me gustas” to someone is really an awkward phrase, unless you want to date them! To compliment them as being buena gente, use “me caes bien”.

I think this can be more easily explained with some authentic resources. Let’s consider the following memes in Spanish: Continue reading

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What to do with all those travel photos

Admit it. You have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos that you’ve collected from your travels to the target culture. And how many of them have your students seen? Here’s an easy way to share them passively with students, some of whom may have their own travel bug piqued.

Continue reading

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Class Novel Tips

We asked students in a survey what helped them understand the class novel the most Here are some of the most descriptive answers:Increase Understanding during reading Continue reading

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We have been nominated once again for by and Lexiophiles’s Top Language Learning Blog. We would love your vote. You can vote everyday.

Click here to vote and use  “Control + F” to find “Spanish Plans

Top Language Lovers 2017


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What students are saying about FVR

Free Voluntary Reading
In our most previous post, students shared how reading a novel in the target language made them feel, offering wonderful insight into the reading experience in the world language classroom. Another question we asked on a student survey, was for students to say what they liked about Free Voluntary Reading (or silent sustained reading) in class. Here’s what they said: Continue reading

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The effects of Reading in WL class

If you want to see how effective reading can be in the world language classroom, just ask your students. As our year is winding down, I had students fill out a google survey to get some of their feedback and thoughts on this year. This first survey focused on getting feedback on reading a class novel as well as FVR.

The first question and answers that I’ll share this week was “Being able to read a novel in Spanish makes me feel….” and students finished the sentence. Read what they said: Continue reading

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Summer Acquisition

With summer vacation on the way, students can’t get comprehensible input from their teacher. But there are some activities that can provide enrichment for students over the summer or allow them to access to some input.

The following infographic gives you a few categories that students can practice language over the summer: Continue reading

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Reclaiming Cinco

You may think that celebrating cinco de mayo in your Spanish class is a fun reward for students at the end of the year to celebrate a year of language learning. But what are dangerous effects? As an educator are you OK with promoting stereotypes? Sure, you may teach the what Cinco de Mayo really is, including it’s history. But what are students going to remember? It won’t be a lesson in history. It will be: We had a party on Cinco de Mayo. I’ve seen it first hand. My students ask me every year if we are going to have a party. Why? “We had one last year.” For what? “This is Spanish class!” So? “It’s a Mexican holiday”

I’m sure you already have your own opinions and this blog post is not going to change your mind. But please, keep an open mind on what message your are sending to your students. Certainly no teacher wants to perpetuate stereotypes. So please, make sure your students know that the Mexican Culture is #MoreThanSombreros / #MasQueSombreros and that putting on a fake mustache can be offensive to many people. And just because you have a Mexican friend who is not offended, does not mean that no one is.

In this current political setting, Mexicans are feeling more marginalized and under attack than ever, so it is important to recognize their positive impacts in our society.

For further reading, please check out article: What is Cinco de Mayo?

I think most of you will find this article eye-opening as well: Rethinking Cinco de mayo

Watch this video:

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Tone Reading

The following is another CI activity that you can use with a chapter reading or with random sentences using a targeted structure. This activity gets in extra reps of the phrases in an engaging and fun manner, which is really the key; trick students into hearing the same phrases without getting bored.

If you are using a novel in your class, you can also use this activity Continue reading

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Justo o Injusto

While reading the Fluency Fast novel Esperanza by Carol Gaab, one of the main themes is la injusticia. While I know that some teachers use this book in high levels (2/3), I use it with my level 1 students in eighth grade. The vocabulary includes many words that my students have acquired through storytelling throughout the year already, so there is not Esperanza Injusticiamuch pre-teaching I have to do in terms of vocabulary.

The themes such as unions, justice, and immigration are all worthy topics to explore.

We had just finished chapter 3, where the workers decided to strike. We previously had read the lectura from the Teacher’s Guide about Sindicatos, but I still had to give examples of what the point of a union was. While giving a short reading comprehension quiz (also from the Teacher’s Guide) I decided to make a simulation. As I was passing out the quiz, I said Continue reading

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