Monday, May 2, 2011

Día 158 - important structures in the language

So I teach Jr High through High School Spanish (Spanish III is the farthest but after next year I imagine we'll have Spanish IV if I stay there).

I'm really excited about what we've been able to accomplish with TPRS this year.  I'm far from perfect with the teaching style but I've seen some amazing things with more than anything my students' confidence levels in trying to communicate in the language and going for meaning versus 'grammatical correctness'.  Plus we're teaching them how to succeed more with the language by teaching it in an appropriate context.

But my Junior High Spanish classes are not required and they are only for a semester.  Still, I see that the students in Junior High are really fun to play around with and I would like to come up with a list of structures to target for the Junior High levels that I could easily use or they could bring into other storytelling in later years.  I don't want to teach them the same things.  Maybe similar things.  Sometimes I've been bringing in lessons from Blaine Ray's Look I can Talk year 1 book.  I've also taken some ideas from Amy Catania's Cuentos Fantásticos.

I find that a lot of the stories that I have acquired outside of Blaine Ray's book have to do with a lot of vocabulary and not as many structures.  For me, this makes the story much more specific than it needs to be.  I've found that it's better to have the structure focused around your action/verb because you can easily change who does that action and then in the reading use the other word you wanted them to learn like (grandmother, etc).

Maybe I'm missing the point, but it seems like the vocabulary is more easily acquired and the structures are more of what I should focus on.  I can easily throw the vocabulary in while circling

So if anyone has any ideas of structures that might be high frequency and useful to throw in for my Junior High Classes, let me know.

I'm also going to more seriously take into account the questionnaires next year and use those to really make my classes more engaging.

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking about the same thing. I am really frustrated with how curriculum is organized in books. I don't like thematic units. I love to focus on the structures. When you look at Blaine's book look I can talk level 1 he list the structures that are used but I think It would be nice to list the structures without his story vocab in them and the order the phrases according to frequency like Blaine mentions to do with vocabulary. Anyhow if your interested in collaborating on such a project let me know. I think TPRS is the answer but the curriculum needs to be more specific and sequential. I've been reading about krashens natural order theory and if it's true maybe we can fine a good order to teach the structure and if that's not possible frequency would be the best. Anyhow, liked your post contact me sometime at