Incorporating Spanish Rejoinders

Last year I used our school’s poster maker to create a bulletin board of rejoinders that students could refer to during storytelling to react to the stories. Or when I would use one of the phrases, I could point to that word on the poster so that students could see what it meant.

We all know how important rejoinders are; being able to react to something. It lets the speaker know you are engaged, listening, and giving the appropriation emotion.

This year before I went back to school, I was able to observe my best friend who teaches at a nearby highschool which had already started classes. His whole department has embraced TPRS and I was able to see some new techniques in action.

One of my favorites parts of the lesson I observed was how the teacher Continue reading

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Data Tracking for World Language

Many teachers now have to include data showing student growth as part of their teacher evaluation. World Language teachers in Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, and other languages can track student growth during a 5 minute timed writing.Using Timed Writings in Spanish

During the first week of class, I plan to give my students a prompt of a 6-image story sequence. I will ask students to write for 5 minutes. During this timed-writing students should write as much as they can without stopping (no asking questions, no going back to try and edit)

When the 5 minutes are up, Continue reading

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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.

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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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Language Lover

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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