Elementary Spanish

You can see below a selection of different types of classes and tasks that I have prepared for an elementary level of Spanish (SPAN 110 and SPAN 120).

Las estaciones: Vocabulary input and practice.

El desfile y los modelos. In these tasks I use structured input to practice vocabulary related to clothes.

I designed this task around thecommercial “El día Osvaldo” to practice listening comprehension, review the days of the week and some basic grammar.

Introducing possessive adjectives and verbs in -er and -ir. In this class I use of my favorite tasks in a very simple way. I call it “metáforas visuales“. Students have to identify an image with one or more vocabulary words. At the beginning the images are quite straightforward, showing for example, someone drinking when I am trying to get students to say “beber” but the images progressively become more complicated, thus becoming “metáforas visuales”.

I combined the “pretérito” with the context of “love” (in its different manifestations) since the class coincided with St. Valentine’s Day. You can see the PowerPoint and the lesson plan.

A communicative test for SPAN 110 testing the material of Chapter 6 the textbook Panorama. I wanted to combine grammar and vocabulary in a contemporary topic so I could integrate cultural aspects in a test that was contextualized and coherent. I used Michelle Obama’s visit to Spain and her effort to raise awareness for health issues for this purpose.

When I use a song in class I try to go beyond the “fill in the blanks” task. In SPAN 110 we watched the following videoclip for the song “Un beso de esos” by Toni Zenet where one of the protagonists uses sign language to communicate. One of the goals of these tasks was to emphasize non-linguistic communication as well as reviewing the “presente vs. pretérito”.

When introducing new vocabulary, students practice by playing the game “tabú” where they have to define words (without using the textbook or any notes!). There are some basic rules outlined in this document and a list of words I would copy and cut up to distribute among the groups. I have used this competitive game in all levels and it is always successful. I usually distribute the class in groups of 3 or 4 students so each of them gets to talk several times. I act as a facilitator, going around the class and helping students if they need some extra hints.

In order to review grammar and vocabulary before a test I sometimes prepare a jeopardy. Students are familiar with the format and they enjoy this interactive group work.

After reading Mario Benedetti’s story “Los astros y vos” students had to organize and prepare to judge the mayor. This simple PowerPoint was used as a guideline for students.

In the following PowerPoint I include structured input, a video of an advertisement and a fragment of a text from a newspaper related to jobs and employment. For the final tasks students have to apply and interview for a job that promotes the city of New Haven, where Yale University is. The lesson plan details how I structured the class.

For this class I designed a series of tasks to practice reading comprehension on Gabriel García Márquez’s short story “Un día de estos”.


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