en las clases de don Carlos
|Languages are learned best if they are used, and since
language is a form of communication, the best way to learn language is
to communicate with it. A certain amount of reflection and personal-
really intrapersonal- use is also necessary in order to learn. Students
will have opportunities outside of class to reflect and use the language
individually. But they rarely will have the opportunity outside of
class to communicate with classmates (in Spanish), so the majority of class
time is devoted to activities which involve some form of communication.
The following descriptions explain some of these activities.
It needs to be noted that
the purpose for all activities is to use the language and not to get the
activity done. Effort to follow directions carefully will enhance
- This is a game whose name means "target". Two players each have
a list- it could be nouns, adajectives, activities, etc. Each player
chooses a specific number of "targets" that her/his opponent is going to
try to guess. (In this way the game is a little like Battleship®.)
Players ask each other questions using the vocabulary or structure, and
respond using the language. The first player to correctly guess all
the "apuntos" of her/his opponent wins. This activity does not require
a great deal of thinking, but it does require students to use the language,
helping get either the vocabulary or structure "printed" on the brain.
Questions and answers need to be in complete sentences in order for this
to be effective as a speaking/listenening/vocabulary building activity.
This one means "Sign!". Students are given a series of situations,
activities or items and are required to get somebody to respond affirmatively
for each- by communicating only in Spanish. For example: Do
you have a pen? Do you walk to school? Do you know someone
who has a new car? If someone responds affirmatively, they sign your
Bingo- This requires each student to memorize a sentence
based on a specific vocabulary or structure. Students interview each
other to get the sentences, and fill-in their "Lo tengo" sheets with the
sentences. In this activity, it is imperative to state the entire
sentence repeatedly as opposed to stating the sentence word by word in
order to help develop listening skills.
This is a simple activiy. Students will have a sheet of paper with
a circle on it. Inside the circle they will each write a sentence
about themselves (following a certain structure/vocabulary) that they believe
is unique to them. On the outside they will write a sentence that
they believe states something they all have in common- but it has to be
original (something they do not think anyone else would write). After
sentences are created, students interview each other to see if anyone else
does the "unique" activity, and if they all do the "common" activity.
describo? - "What am I describing? - By describing something
in Spanish, students try to get their partners to guess what the item is.
A variation of this is also done with crossword puzzles- some students
get horizontal clues and others get verticals. They use "¿Qué
describo?" skills to complete the crosswords.
Interviews. Lots and lots of these! Students will have
a series of questions to answer, and then individuals will be given a specific
question to ask classmates. The objective is to be able to answer
all questions without refering to anything.
Fill-ins. Students will have data sheets with missing
information- which their partner has. By asking questions they will
be able to complete their sheet.
Flashcards- Sorting and games.
We will do many activities with flashcards. One of the favorites
is "Vocab-Slap". Students in a group place the flashcards on the
table and one person becomes the caller. S/he calls the clue and
the other members try to be the first to say and slap the correct flashcard.
Keep the card if you win. The one with the most cards in the end
wins! Be careful, though- an incorrect answer means you have to put
all your cards back.
es? Given a specific piece of information either written
or spoken, students will try to guess who is being described.
Students will match an illustration created to go along with a written
There of course are
other activities we do- variatons of those mentioned above or some that
are just impossible to explain in writing, but this should give you an
idea of what we do. The activities above are not my creation.
Most were created by other people whom I have been fortunate enough to
meet and/or work with. I have fine tuned them in some circumstances
to meet my needs or style. If you have any suggestions, ideas or
comments, please contact me.