- Engagement is high! Everyone loves watching movies.
- Students see people, places and things of the Spanish speaking world. I teach in rural New Hampshire, so this is important!
- Students get to see the diversity from the Spanish speaking world.
- Students see tons of authentic cultural products, practices, and perspectives
- Students hear authentic Spanish with a wide variety of accents.
- Sometimes, students are reading authentic Spanish as well if the subtitles are in Spanish
I (along with Elena López for Canela (sadly not available anywhere anymore) and Arianne Dowd for Diamantes Negros and 3 Bellezas) have created slideshows with screenshots and written what happens in each scene in comprehensible Spanish.
I view these big slideshows as "illustrated books" with comprehensible Spanish... but, instead of just reading and seeing images, students get the reward of seeing the video and hearing the authentic language!
Here is part of the slideshow for Diamantes Negros:
So far, I have done this for four movies. I have also done it for some cortometrajes, commercials, and songs, but here are the movies:
- La Misma Luna (for Spanish 1)
- Diamantes Negros (for Spanish 3 +)
- 3 Bellezas (for Spanish 4 + )
- Canela (for Spanish 1 - I am still hopeful that this will become available somewhere!)
- Arianne Dowd has created an amazing one for También la lluvia and I am so excited to finally tackle that movie! (Unit packet with compiled resources here)
Here is what we do with the slideshow and the text from the slideshow (it is pretty basic and not that revolutionary):
- In my class, students sit in groups of 3-4. (I decide on the groupings and change them every 2 weeks.)
- I project the slideshow on the big screen and designate one student to be the slide changer. S/he clicks when the talking stops or when I say, "clic."
- Each day, in their groups, students take turns reading the "story" aloud. 15-20 (sometimes more) slides. This is really good, particularly for upper level students, because I want them talking a lot!
- For my lower level students, I start by reading the slideshow to them and then might gradually have them read in groups, depending on the level and the culture of the class.
- There are also discussion questions embedded in the slideshows, so they talk about those.
- As they read, I might check for comprehension and/or ask questions that are not on the slideshow.
- If there is new vocabulary and/or grammatical structures, I talk about those to make sure everyone understands. Some would call this pop-up grammar (still teaching grammar, just in a different way).
- Then we watch that segment of the movie. Subtitles would be in English or Spanish, depending on the level and the movie.
- We continue to do this over the course of 5-7 (or more) days until we finish the movie. I should mention that I have 84 minutes classes.
- For homework, students have to reread what we read in class, but have to fill in the blanks (see pages 27-35 of this También la lluvia unit packet for an example). The point of this is to review what we read and to acquire and/or review vocabulary and/or grammatical structures.
So, if anyone else is interested in collaborating on taking screenshots ("command + control + shift + 4" on a mac copies a screenshot right to your clipboard and then you can paste it into the slideshow), I recommend reaching out to other teachers and sharing the work! I hope to create something for my level 2 class in the future. I tried to do that with Diamantes Negros, but the language got too complex.
One more thing... a Seminario Socrático has been a fantastic end of unit speaking evaluation. Arianne Dowd also shared some ideas about how she does it on her blog.