Laura K. Sexton, MA/NBCT
Spanglish teacher
and passion-driven educator,
a sus órdenes

Why PBL in the TL?

School is not a place apart from The Real World, and learning happens all around us all the time. It is our job as educators to construct meaningful experiences for our students to grow and work toward goals that matter to them.

Project-Based Learning is an approach to education that promotes growth, collaboration, goal setting, and personal responsibility. Combining PBL with communication-based language learning is challenging, for both teachers and students. However, with careful scaffolding that marries 21st century skills with target language input and output, PBL is a powerful motivational tool for lifelong language learning.

Who is Sra. Spanglish?

You could say I was an unsatisfied English teacher. I started learning Spanish in college to communicate with future students' families (3 years of French and 2 of German in high school--I use them to show off now). I did part of my student teaching in Mexico and ended up with a French/Spanish teacher for a mentor (love you, Brenda!). Alas, Sra. Floyd was near retirement, and I liked the idea of a new challenge. So I took a few more classes and the Praxis, and here I am!

I still love teaching both Spanish and English because the desire for genuine communication has always been at the heart of my purpose as an educator. My English Education training (Go AppState '03!) has influenced my Spanish teaching more and more as I go, and my Spanish Education training (Go AppState '13!) has begun to mix into my English teaching too.

I guess you could say I'm a more complete teacher now.

How can I reach Sra. Spanglish?

Twitter is definitely your best bet for quick responses. Even before joining the #LangChat moderator team, I was a little bit obsessed.

I also have a PBL in the TL Facebook Page where you can send me longer messages or comments.

If you have an even lengthier--or more formal request--you can also send e-mail to SraSpanglish [at] gmail.com.

How can I find Sra. Spanglish resources?

You can find presentations from ACTFL, regional, state, and local conferences on my Presentations page.

Many of the handouts to set up interactive notebook pages and other activities can be found in my TeachersPayTeachers store.

Find a list of PBL projects I've tried in my Spanish I, II, and III classes on my PBL Projects page.

Learn more about how I set up interactive notebooks with my Interactive Notebook page.

Check out my Twitter takeaways from professional development near and far on my Free PD page.

You can see more blog post series on my Series page, and I've also collected resources I've created to support Project-Based Learning on my TPRS Stories  and Integrated Performance Assessments pages


  1. Hola! I'd love to include a quote from you in a round-up post I'm writing for TakeLessons.com, with tips for Spanish students. I could not find your email address, so if you're interested in helping, please email me at sstgeorge@takelessons.com so we can chat! Thanks! :)

  2. Hi Laura,
    I've just come across your blog and thought I'd reach out.
    My name is Camille and together with some friends we run VocApp - a flashcard app for learning languages. I was wondering if you'd be interested in writing about VocApp or posting a link to our website on your blog? The app offers the possibility of creating flashcards in a variety of languages for free. We also have some paid English-Spanish courses, which we'd be willing to share with you and your students for free. Here's a sample set of flashcards I've made for you: https://vocapp.com/on-the-road-en-esp-flashcards-201209
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  3. Hola Sra. Spanglish,
    I'd really like to switch to the PBL model, but have no clue how to go about doing it. I understand the idea of the relevant important question, etc., but what does it look like on day one of a Spanish 1 class? Any suggestions?
    Sr. Chew (mchew@pelhamsd.org)

  4. Buenas Tardes,
    I am a fourth year Spanish teacher whose district sent me to PBL training with BIE earlier this year. I am very excited about it and have tried one PBL unit with moderate success, and I am about to try another one in the next couple of weeks. I am so inspired about by your stories and successes, I would love to talk with you about how to make this a full time solution in my classroom. Your students progress so quickly and their proficiency levels are astounding for Spanish 1! If you don't mind, please email me with some suggestions about making this my full time routine. Where do I start? Thanks!