Remember that one of the best ways to maintain engagement is to always be doing something new and different in class! This is especially true for reading. With the second semester about to start (unless you are one of the “lucky ones” that went back on January 2 for two days…), many of you are probably planning to begin a novel–either for the first time or just a new one! As you do, keep in mind that you can use different pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading activities to keep students on their toes.

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“I heard it!” (¡Lo escuché!) is a during-reading activity that can be used when the text is read aloud, either by the teacher or by a classmate in a small group. Here is how it works:

  1. Write out translations of quotations or lines from the text. These should not be very long, and the number that you write out depends on how long the text is. I think that one or two per page of a novel is a good number, because they are frequent enough that students remember to listen for the quotes, but not so frequent that the reading process becomes choppy.
  2. Add in two or three fake quotations or lines that are not in the text.
  3. Type out the translations in a document, and either photocopy and distribute it or project it. Alternatively, you could write out each quote translation on the whiteboard to save paper.
  4. Students should read through each of the quotes and think of how to say it in Spanish (if they want, they could even write it out in Spanish in the space above or below each quote).
  5. As the teacher or student in a group reads the text, students will listen for the Spanish translations of the English quotes on the worksheet.
  6. Whenever students hear one of the quotes, they should raise their hands and shout, “¡Lo escuché!” (or however you say “I heard it!” in your language of instruction).
  7. Call on one of the students that raised his/her hand, and ask him or her to read the translation that matches the quote that you just read.
  8. If the student reads the correct translation, give him or her a high five or a piece of candy. If he or she does not read the correct translation, encourage the student and then ask for a guess from another student.
  9. At the end of the text, identify the ‘imposter’ quotes, review translations of each one, and label who said it.

8 replies on “I heard it!

  1. Great idea! You have so many and are thoughtful to share. I do have one “quibble.” I think I would say, “¡Lo oí!” which translates to “I heard it.” To me “Lo escuché” means “I listened to it.” I know that it is minor, but as a high school teacher I think it is important to differentiate. Now, I could be wrong about this and if there are any native speakers that disagree, please let us know.
    Thanks, again, for all that you do!

    1. I’m not a native Spanish speaker, but if I were listening for something and then heard it, I think I would be likely to say “Lo escuché”. I’ve heard native Spanish speakers use escuchar in places that I would use “hear” in English. I don’t think English distinctions between “hear” and “listen” can be perfectly mapped onto Spanish “oír” and “escuchar”, and vice versa. If I were to do this activity in class, I think I’d use “Lo escuché” just because it’s easier to say than “lo oí” with its two Os run together.

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