It’s no secret that students, especially the younger ones, are easily distracted. As teachers, many of us have seen first hand the benefits of breaking our lessons into smaller mini-lessons with shorter input sessions instead of the more traditional method of longer lessons with very little down time. We know that attention spans are short and factoring in the fact that we’re teaching in a language that is not the mother tongue of many of our students only makes our jobs that much more challenging (and interesting!). We want to get through to our students, but to do that we need them focused and participating, because who can learn a second language without actually using it?? Queue, brain breaks! Brain breaks come in all shapes and sizes and can be molded to fit the needs at hand. From recess time, where children move and socialize on the playground to a five minute dance break in class, they are one of the best ways to get your students motivated, ready to learn and to help them make sense of new input.
As the year begins to wind down, we’ve been thinking about the latest trends in second language learning and teaching and how as teachers we can use them to help our students learn Spanish in the future. We’ve found that one of the most successful ways to teach Spanish to kids is through technology. The combination of Spanish videos, catchy songs with natural language, and interactive games with vibrant images and accompanying worksheets are what we believe really works and what we’ve built our Spanish teaching resources around. Today we’re taking a look at how technology can help Spanish teachers get their students learning the language in a way that takes the process out of the classroom and promotes a passion for lifelong learning and interaction with the Spanish language.
It’s officially spring and we’re loving it. This year has been a crazy one weather-wise here in Bilbao, Spain (where this post is being written from), but we’re glad to officially enjoy springtime and the perfect weather we’re not used to having at this time of year! Although, we have to admit that the nearly rainless and snowless winter has only reminded us of how important caring for the planet is and we’ve made it a priority to talk about the topic with our kids in our Spanish classes. We love spring because it’s colorful, full of light and change, and it provides us with lots of great topics to talk about class.
Most language teachers have been where their students are at some point in their lives. Those first few classes (or experiences with a new language) where you are excited to learn and a little bit nervous that you won't be able to do it well.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Your classroom walls are filling up with student artwork and holiday break is right around the corner. Everything is covered in glitter, lights and suddenly the winter months don't seem quite so dark. The month leading up to holiday break can be wonder
The end of fall and the beginning of winter is an exciting time in our Spanish classes, especially for the kids. And, for teachers it’s the perfect moment to combine our Spanish programs with cultural comparisons and to use the language to learn about holidays and cultural practices in the rest of the world. That’s one of the reasons that we love being language teachers, we have the chance to cultivate curiosity and expand global knowledge through teaching Spanish. One of the most important aspects to teach, especially when the language is not spoken at home or outside of the classroom, is pronunciation. While for some it's not necessarily a difficult topic to tackle, we find that with our goal of getting kids speaking and not wanting to discourage them, we sometimes overlook pronunciation errors for the greater good of creating a positive learning environment. Is anyone else guilty of that? With improving pronunciation as one of our main goals and focuses we've put together a list of different ways that you can incorporate natural pronunciation practice into your Spanish classes for kids even if you're not a native or bilingual speaker.
We’re officially fully into fall and looking forward to all of the fun fall and winter activities we have coming up in Spanish class. Last spring we posted about different ways to use art in the Spanish classroom with younger learners. We love art because it’s a subject that’s able to bend and mold to the needs of our learners, while expanding knowledge not only of Spanish language, but in life. And, we find that it’s a topic that’s super appealing to our students. This year we’re following that post up with these resources and ideas for how to use art in Spanish class with older students or more advanced classes.
For many it’s already that time of the year for hats, scarves, colorful leaves and of course, pumpkin spice everything! Inside our Spanish classrooms routines are starting to take root and we’re thrilled to see how much our kids are enjoying learning Spanish. Here are some of the teaching resources we’re using this fall in our classrooms (and some that extend outside of four walls!)
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