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IB Spanish text types: Article

Writing skills have to be combined with text features deep knowledge to have the opportunity to score highly in your exams. Being a great writer also means knowing the specific features of each type of text to be able to reach the expectations of your readers and to make sure your intentions materialize on paper. That is the perfect combination to score highly in your Paper 2 and Written Assignment. 

The article is a very open, and therefore complicated, text type. It can be very heterogeneous in terms of features, audience, communicative goal and structures. But basically, you can divide this text into three different sections with two different intentions: 

  1. Communicate information to inform your audience [objective] 
  2. Express and opinion trying to persuade your audience about something [subjective]

There are so many different good resources out there that's why in this post besides attaching my documents I've made a compilation of what I think are the best resources available online. 

 Types of articles
Goal: To inform a targeted audience. [Texto expositivo/informativo]

This type of text is constructed to tell or advise you on something.

Useful links:
Goal: To debate/discuss ideas. [Textos expositivos y argumentativos]

To be able to debate ideas and convince people you will need to present the information and provide different perspectives, contrast information and express your opinion.
Don't forget to include advantages and disadvantages, positive and negative sides of the argument...
You will need to combine both types of texts and their features.

Goal: To express an opinion and/or have an impact on somebody's opinion. Artículo de opinión. [Texto argumentativo/persuasivo]

Usually this type of text is written to make you do something: persuade about something, buy an item...

Useful links:

Expand your boundaries:
Develop a passion for learning.
If you do, you will never cease to grow.
Anthony J. D'Angelo
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Gerund in Spanish

This is a tough one in Spanish. Most of the times all the mistakes come from transferring the English language into the Spanish one. With this post I am going to try to give a few, simple and direct tips to avoid the incorrect use of this verb form in Spanish for beginners.
First thing we do in my class is using the visual provided here to deduce the rule for gerund in Spanish. Putting this responsibility upon students shoulders is a great strategy to develop autonomy, critical thinking, logical thinking skills. They get used to be detectives in my class. Actually they wear so many different hats in my class, but isn't it real life like that?

One big idea when using gerund in Spanish:


 The action expressed by the gerund MUST happen before or at the same time as the action of the main verb, NEVER later


 Correct:
  Incorrect:

Paco aprende español cantando canciones.

Preguntó al profesor ayudándose de las ayudas visuales.

Thinking activity: 
Looking at the first example, when is the action happening? is it previous, simultaneous or later? 
In the second example, previous, simultaneous or later?


The following sequences can help us to establish and settle authentic pieces of language highlighting the concept of gerund. Pay attention to how two first sentences get combined into the third one: 

 Sequences of gerund:
  1. Llegó muy tarde a clase de español.
  2. Pidió permiso para entrar.
  3. Llegó muy tarde a clase de español pidiendo permiso para entrar.
  1. Observó atentamente la imagen.
  2. Preguntó una duda.
  3. Observó atentamente la imagen preguntando una duda.
  1. Quiso aprender español después de la escuela.
  2. Preguntó al profesor que podía hacer.
  3. Quiso aprender español después de la escuela preguntando al profesor que podía hacer.

Do you want to check if you've learnt something? Yes?
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Some of the ideas from this post have been borrowed from Proyecto Aula 


Want to know more?

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin
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Feedback through social networking

Looking at my students and trying to be at somebody else's shoes came up with the idea that I could use what they love: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... to motivate them to keep learning Spanish after school.

After that I got to the feedback stage... How do I give them feedback in a nice and effective way  that they don't feel that their teacher is correcting them in public?
Mmmm, I tried to think in my self, how would I feel if somebody does that on one of my pictures? 
First of all I understood that advising them to create a new account for educational purposes would be a great idea because doing this the student (and the teacher) doesn't get involved in getting to make friends through a social network and can still (everyone) keeps his/her privacy. 

As a teacher:
We want to provide our students with a correct example of a piece of language, maybe a structure, maybe a verb conjugation... and at the same time we want to use the feedback as a positive thing, as an opportunity to motivate them. It is the perfect situation to set up a healthy, friendly and motivational on line source of information for our students. Everyone likes to be congratulated so let's take advantage of it. 
Sequence:

  1. Give directions for an activity [if you need some ideas check out this post]
  2. Check your student's performance and make a comment using the structure you want your student to pay attention to but not correcting what he/she said, just open up a new topic using that same structure or come up with something connected to that.
  3. Make your students respond to your comment using that same structure properly to check that the desired learning took place.

[check the posters below for visual clarification]

As a student:
Your teacher is providing you with valuable feedback on your learning process. Your teacher values you as an active learner and want to help you develop your curiosity and searching skills.
Instead of correcting you, telling you what is correct or incorrect, your teacher is going to make a comment giving you a correct piece of the language you need to look at. This means that you have to put your detective hat and inspect your teacher's comment (s) to find out what you should be reviewing.
For a visual example of this process, please refer to the image on this post. 
[check the posters below for visual clarification]

Visual resources:

Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.
Chanakya
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Learning Spanish through songs: Lyrics training

Teenagers love music. Teachers love learning. Make a cocktail and you obtain Lyrics training.

You can use your Facebook account to sing up and get a free account in this site.

Once you have made your students sign up they will have to choose their level:

- beginner
- intermediate
- advanced 
- expert

and two modes:

- write: they will be typing the words [this can be interesting to set up a Spanish keyboard in your computer and get some practice]
- choice: they'll get to choose from one out of four options. 

Apart from this, the site offers two more activities to do along with the song:
- karaoke
- new exercise [just for teachers] what you can basically do is just change the words and select write or choice mode.

So far, I have been using it with my students for out-of-class practice. If they like Enrique Iglesias they can spend a full evening listening to the song in Spanish.

If your students like music, this is a great way to go, they will improve their listening/comprehension skills, pronunciation, memorize phrases...

A short selection of similar sites to learn languages with music:
- http://www.lyrics.com/
http://tubeoke.com/

Interested in music for a language class?
Check this out!


If you want to get laid, go to college.
If you want an education, go to the library.

Frank Zappa


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