May 5, 2020 NEW YORK—World language teachers often suspect that language publishers still do not quite get how languages are actually acquired, and this week’s prime time nationwide telecast was no help in allaying those fears. On this week’s special language educators’ episode of Wheel of Fortune, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, editors from major world language publishers were invited to strut their stuff and show off how much they understood about their field. Only one letter remained covered by the end of round #1. The category was How Language is Acquired. The audience, which consisted mostly of publishing [...]
Cinco de Mayo is almost here. Sadly, it won't be as big of a celebration this year, but we can still teach students a bit about it. Wouldn't you bet that most of them think it is Mexican Independence Day? Here is a quiz and a reading in Spanish with much high frequency vocabulary. Words that novice students may not know are glossed below each paragraph. The vocabulary is sheltered, but not the grammar. Students will understand most of the text due to context and familiar vocabulary, even though much of it is written in the past tense and there [...]
Eres Tu Valentine's Day Activity This is an activity for the majority of students that feel the vomit rise in their mouth when they see over-the-top Valentine's Day expressions of puppy lust. All. Day. Long. It's been a hit with students for years. Use it as a brain break or as an activity to teach the original song Eres Tú to your students and allow them to have fun with the language (and their inner evil emperor. Think of it as an "Occupy Valentine's Day" activity for the 99% of students that do not have a romantic partner and feel awkward [...]
The day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is December 12. Spanish students deserve to know about this holiday and it's deep religious and cultural symbolism. Students need to know that this image sparked one of he greatest sociological and cultural shifts in history and changed the mental landscape of Latin America forever. Here is the story of La Virgen de Guadalupe in two novice-level Spanish versions. Your Spanish 1 and 2 students will be able to read them and your upper level students will benefit greatly from the deeper historical and cultural understanding. LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE SIMPLIFIED LA [...]
This is a different Valentine's Day activity. Sort of an "Occupy Valentine's Day", or Valentine's Day for the 99% of students that do NOT have boyfriends or girlfriends and feel awkward this time of the year. They get to write alternative lyrics to the tune of the famous Mocedades hit "Eres Tú" but this time with descriptions of how awful someone is instead of the sickly sweet Eres Tu Valentine's Day Activity
Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, is a major holiday in Mexico. Not an official state holiday, but one of the people. So much so that streets, squares and many public services are shut down due to the large number of people in the streets. Here is a short reading in level 2-4 Spanish about this holiday and sociological phenomenon in Latin America LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE I had a great time drawing this picture based upon the original tilma as I listened to articles about the Virgen.