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!

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas","Bananas", "Sostenible", and "Papálotl" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at gmail.com.

One thought

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