Language is more than mere vocabulary and grammar. Authentic cultural stories like this one can help students to communicate. Students need to know the background information that these kinds of stories provide to understand the metaphor-laden speech and imagery that every native speaker uses all the time—up to six times per minute according to Kendall Haven in StoryProof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story.
The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is December 12. You still have time to teach your students this important cultural story. Spanish students deserve to know about this holiday and it’s deep cultural symbolism. Students should know that this image sparked one of he greatest sociological and cultural shifts in history and changed the mental and emotional landscape of Latin America forever.
Here is the story of La Virgen de Guadalupe in two Spanish embedded reading versions: a simplified version, and a slightly more advanced version with a quiz. There is also an English version for students in geography classes or Spanish students that aren’t quite ready. Your novice-level Spanish students will be able to read both Spanish versions with the help of the glossaries at the end of each reading. Your upper-level students will be able to read it with little -to-no help and will benefit greatly from the deeper historical and cultural understanding it provides.
The longer article is from Bryce’s book Conexiones: Making Connections with the Spanish-Speaking World.