19 May 2011

A matter of interpretation

Q: What do a Chilean reality show and Honduran tourism have in common? How about a recipe for croquetas de pollo and a wikipedia article about a Mexican sitcom?

A: Interpretation review for Spanish I, of course!

Interpretation is but one part of the final project I'm planning for both Spanish I and II. Students will also demonstrate interpersonal communication by Skyping a partner, recording a conversation, or simply passing notes. Presentational is still in the works, though.

Still, I had my students interpret written texts, first discussing using context clues, like recipe or wikipedia article formats. we talked about using words they knew and figuring out words. For the recipe, I just had them summarize, but for the article about Familia de Diez, they made a family tree to show the family relationships among characters (hint: it definitely helps to set up the tree with blanks for them ahead of time, rather than have them doodle willy nilly). This way, students had to use all of their cooking vocabulary for one and family vocabulary for the other.

We reviewed family some more with the Esta Es Mi Familia ad, but I had specific questions related to the video: not only did they put names with people's positions in the family, but they had to figure out which person got a new job, and which was talking to an ex on Facebook.

The musical tourism ad for Honduras, "Todo está aqui" was good for reviewing...everything! There was a lot of geography, a few adjectives, and a few handy verbs! A lot of the text was beyond Spanish I, but it made a nice cloze activity (plus the kids were dancing in their seats, and one of my usually less-interested muchachos was mouthing the words along by the end). I almost forgot the word bank, though (the lyrics helped at the last minute!) It's getting to be crunch time, but if we had more time, I would have had them talk about reasons to visit or not visit Honduras, or perhaps turn the ad into a poster.

So for the actual final, I believe I'll collect a handful more of recipes, but I might have to get more creative with the videos, as I've yet to come across others with as much familiar vocabulary (though I bet there are more for "Esta Es Mi Familia" out there, and maybe non-wikipedia synopses. I might also be able to hunt down a travel brochure or two.

If anyone knows any good authentic texts that use family/adjective vocabulary, travel vocabulary, and/or hobbies vocabulary, by all means, pass them on!

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