I think I’m going to shake up Spanish 4 next year.

In Spanish 203-204 at the college level there is a lot of grammar and literature, we do that in Spanish 4… In the 300 levels, they do some great stuff like study films and plays and really get deep into cultural topics… So why can’t we do that too?  I already love using film and cultural studies, now I think I want to develop four different quarter long units to use during Spanish IV.

Each would revolve around a piece of literature, a film, and a specific cultural topic… So now to think of what to do…  I already have quarter 1… La Guerra Sucia.  We can do the three films I already use and read Guerra Sucia from TPRS publishing.  So that leaves me with three quarters to fill.  I have El Norte and The Motorcycle Diaries… Maybe something with those two?  They are definitely too mature for any of the younger levels.  Maybe a unit about Che?  They could really debate whether he was a hero or a bad guy…. Next year’s fours won’t have read Esperanza from TPRS publishing so maybe we could include that with our study of El Norte…   I do El Salvador and Spain’s Civil Wars in Spanish 3… So some of my favorite movies are already taken by fourth year.

Anyone have any ideas for quarter long units?

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Why I love culture…

On my edmodo page, I posted a link to Zachary Jones’s clozeline.  I asked Spanish 3 and 4 students to go to the site and listen to two songs of their choice and leave a comment.  I expected them to leave short little comments but they have been very communicative about what they liked and didn’t like about their chosen songs. 

I use the TPRS publishing novels in all levels and I am able to discuss such deep topics with my classes, even at level 1!  I am completely convinced that starting them from the very first year learning more about the people (not just geography, food, and art) of the target culture has made them more interested in acquiring the language.

In all levels, we do two film studies per year plus supplementary films to provide pre or post information about the study… The kids talk among themselves about how much they loved the film they watched the year before… I never had a textbook student tell me how much they loved the lesson we did the year before!  🙂

I think that biculturalism is just as important as bilingualism and I hope that I can give other CI teachers (and even textbook teachers) ideas for ways to create a bicultural environment that stimulates the desire to excel in Spanish!