Ashley has a good question about writing accuracy: Hi, there! I have a question for you! As my students are taking their SLO test (Georgia), I am noticing that their accuracy is quite poor. How do you balance fluency and accuracy in writing in your classes? Thanks so much for the input. It is invaluable! Ashley Hi Ashley, This is a common observation in comprehensible input-based classes. Students can understand so much more than traditional classes that it is natural to assume that their production would be equally as advanced. This is not always the case. I can offer a [...]


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  

By |2017-10-11T13:22:13-06:00February 5th, 2016|Categories: Acquisition, Holidays, Just for Fun, Writing|0 Comments


Here is an email from Christopher, a Spanish I teacher who has been teaching the La Llorona embedded reading. A student took it upon himself to rewrite the story from the husband's point of view. Very creative, recycling of vocabulary. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks so much for making the embedded readings for La Llorona available on your website. They're fantastic! My Spanish I has enjoyed reading and acting them out.  I'm very impressed by their language gains in just a week and half with this text! One student actor playing the role of "El esposo" felt compelled to [...]

By |2015-10-22T20:32:50-06:00October 22nd, 2015|Categories: Stories, Teaching with Legends, Writing|Tags: , |0 Comments


I had the students watch the video of Pobre Ana on Friday. Normally I do not have students read this novel until December in level 1 (Actually, in the past couple of years I have only read the book with a small number of students because most of the class had already read the book independently by that time of the year). The sequence has always been read the novel, discuss, do activities and quizzes, and then show the video. But on Friday I was up to my neck in paperwork so I did an experiment to keep the little [...]

By |2017-10-11T13:22:14-06:00September 26th, 2015|Categories: Acquisition vs. Learning, Starting Class, Writing|0 Comments


We just finished the fifth week of school. This year in my level one Spanish classes I am focusing on "Special Person" interviews. I am not teaching to an overt grammar syllabus. I have not done any units. I have not even told any stories yet. I am focusing on high frequency verbs. We have done a few songs and games, and students are doing free reading both in and outside of class, but the main focus is on personal interviews. The students are the curriculum. And, at least for now, it is working well. Class becomes compelling when it is about them. [...]


The students are the curriculum for the first several weeks of Spanish I. We are interviewing students and talking daily in class with lots of repetitions of compelling content wrapped in high frequency vocabulary . Here is the second timed writing of the year in Spanish I. It is the third week of the new school year. These are the results of two girls in the same class that had not taken Spanish before. Students were instructed to write for  five minutes without stopping about information they had learned in class about their classmates. I told them that 100 words was [...]