Hansel & Gretel: Activate the Interpretive Mode

By |2021-08-21T19:59:08-06:00August 21st, 2021|

This is the perfect unit for when the teacher is out of the classroom for a few days: It delivers comprehensible input, it gives students a concrete task, it is multi-level, and the accountability is built in. Plus, the sub doesn't need to know the language or how to [...]

Start the School Right and Get Students Reading

By |2021-08-11T14:29:44-06:00August 11th, 2021|

This just-published unit can be the first full story of the school year for a Spanish I class. It can be told at the beginning of the second or third week of class, or it can be saved until later. It explains how to get students reading right away. [...]


By |2021-08-07T15:37:35-06:00July 12th, 2021|

Asking students a series of purposeful questions and follow-up questions supercharges learning. It engages them and drives acquisition of language and complex ideas like nothing else. Plato modeled this technique brilliantly in Socrates’ dialogues. Special Person student interviews are similar to Socratic teaching. It is asking questions with a [...]

Science and Spanish

By |2021-07-05T18:22:03-06:00July 5th, 2021|

Talking about things that matter is the goal of language teaching. One thing that matters is SCIENCE.  CÓMO LO SABÍAN Excerpt is a chapter from my  best-selling book Conexiones: Making Connections with the Spanish-Speaking World. This article explains in simple Spanish how ancient peoples all around the world (pun [...]


By |2021-06-16T17:31:32-06:00June 16th, 2021|

Here is an idea that will work if your curriculum demands you explicitly teach direct object pronouns: tell an interesting story that requires DOP's. Here's the outline of one that will work: Somebody sees something that another person doesn’t and they both get frustrated. It would be even better [...]

MANIAC: A Useful Acronym to Remember Krashen’s Hypotheses

By |2021-06-11T17:39:13-06:00June 11th, 2021|

MANIAC: Krashen's 6 Hypotheses is a document that will help you to remember the core ideas of comprehension-based teaching. MANIAC is an acronym that will help you to remember six of Dr. Stephen Krashen's hypotheses about language acquisition, and how they can be applied in the classroom. I chose maniac [...]

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