Going back to school is a CRIME!

I found a pin on Pinterest last night that immediately reminded me of Dave Burgess and his Pirate-like ways! It is a blog post about using crime scenes in language classes from BusyTeacher.org, and I think that it would make the PERFECT first-day-of-classes activity for returning language students. (Click here for other first-week-of school activities for first year…

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Unit planning for TCI courses

My favorite session from iFLT 2014 (of the ones that I taught, anyway) was my session about planning units that introduce a set of target structures and then use them to teach a cultural topic to students. This was my favorite session because the creation of vocabulary-driven cultural units have had a greater impact on my…

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Cinco de Mayo

Mention Cinco de Mayo around a group of Spanish teachers and you’ll probably get a few nasty glares. But why? There is much confusion about this popular celebration–beginning with the fact that it is really only popular in the United States–NOT in Mexico. Most US citizens (including your students) think that it is Mexican Independence…

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El Secreto unit plans

Talk about a labor of love. I have been working on putting together the final touches on my “El Secreto” storytelling unit for Spanish II for literally months. It has taken the back burner to a series of other projects, but I finally sat down tonight, determined to complete it. The unit is designed to target Irregular…

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Semana Santa

Finally! I have been meaning for years to add a comprehensible Semana Santa reading to my holidays repertoire, and I am happy to announce that I’ve finally finished it! You can download the final product here. It contains a two-level embedded reading with pre and post-reading discussion questions and comprehension questions, a MovieTalk/video activity, an…

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Iditarod 2014

Here is a great news topic to discuss in class today or tomorrow! It would be great to discuss weather and geography vocabulary, time and numbers, and competition vocabulary (won, raced, ran, etc.). Here’s an overview of the race with links to articles with more information: Have you heard of the Iditarod? Known as “The…

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Una Navidad memorable

I just stumbled across this activity that I used to use on the first day back from break in Spanish 2. The activity and discussion that it sparked easily filled the first 55 minute period after break. It’s a simple form for a communicative activity in which students interview each other about their Christmas vacations. After they get…

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