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Paper 2 / Listening Comprehension / Texto B: Sandra, mi maleta para irme a Francia

First, your students (and might be also possible, that us, teachers are too) might be anxious about listening comprehension because is a new component added to the Ab Initio course, so we have to deal with the uncertainty of being assessed for the first time, not having grade boundaries to rely on, etc.

Because of this, it is important to present these activities in a very comprehensive way to our students, I highly recommend to do pre and post listening activities to help them approach this component and consolidate their learning.

Text A / Up to 2 min
Speaker: Sandra
Origin: Mexico
Audio: 2:04 s

A possible pre-listening activity: write some
questions on the board, such as
¿Quién? ¿Qué? ¿Cuándo? ¿Dónde? ¿Por qué?
Give your class a topic and ask them to write
as many answers as they can in two minutes

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Paper 2 / Listening Comprehension / Text A: Una tarde con mis amigos

First, your students might (surely) be anxious about listening because a lot of them think they won’t be able to understand anything and that natives speak so fast and with expressions and slang, etc

In order to control that anxiety that may arise I suggest starting off with some simple listening games. We are going to break up activities in pre-listening activities, while-listening activities and post-listening activities.

Listen to Orel from Cuba and answer the questions.

Text A / Up to 1 min
Speaker: Orel
Origin: Cuba
Audio: 25 seconds

Remember that is important to expose your
students to different accents and that is really
productive to work pre and post listening activities

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ab Initio Unit: Cuestiones sociales

This unit is perfect to explore and compare with other cultures controversial topics such as gender role, homeless, stereotypes, public health care or justice.

The suggested topics are:
  • Cuestiones de género
  • Desempleo
  • Desigualdad
  • Discriminación
  • Drogas
  • Estereotipos
  • Matrimonio
  • Personas sin techo (sin casa)
  • Reglas y reglamentos
  • Salud pública
  • Sistema judicial
Start off reviewing/learning some vocabulary with Quizlet:

Gender equality is more than a goal in itself.
It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
- Kofi Annan
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Ab Initio Unit: Alimentación y consumo de bebidas

This unit is simple to connect to working places, commands in Spanish, international mindedness through different types of food, recipes, etc.
An activity that is fun and works fine for this unit is the usage of realia to represent a play or a role-play in restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
Is also great to practice interactive oral skills with your students having them have conversations, dialogues centered in this topic.

Start with Quizlet to review/learn the vocabulary and then jump below to find activities ;)

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ab Initio Unit: Ocio

In this unit you can talk basically about two sub-topics:
  • Tiempo libre
  • Deportes
I recommend practicing interactive oral activities in this unit as it is really easy to use or to come up during our IA. As a general conversation topic you can always talk about what you do in your free time, after school, etc.

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Ab Initio Unit: Tecnología

In this unit we usually assess reading comprehension and oral language production, as they are very common on the exams and easy to bring up in conversations.

The suggested topics are:

  • Relaciones cibernéticas
  • Seguridad cibernética
  • Juegos
  • Internet: entretenimiento, compras, etc.
  • Comunicación móvil
  • Redes sociales
  • Uso de la tecnología: escuela, ocio, trabajo, etc.
Start off reviewing/learning some vocabulary with Quizlet:

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important
- Bill Gates
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Text types: Publicación en redes sociales

Our students are very familiarized with this type of text and that is great but at the same time we have to make sure that they don't incorporate some misleading ideas that might be out there.

Features of this type of text:
  • Informal register
  • Usage of graphic text: emoticons, etc.
  • Exclamations, questions marks, capital letters, etc.
  • Short and concise messages
  • Usually referring to a specific person or situation
  • Interaction with other users
  • Hashtags, keywords
  • Clear objective
There are some different social networks that have slight differences between them: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
It is useful to know them and their characteristics in order to target our text better, for instance, Twitter is focused more on short messages, where the most important thing would be the content, whereas in Facebook would be more common to see visuals.

Remember that knowing the type of text you are writing and the main features is essential to score highly in your paper 2 (Writing), and that is going to be a 25% of your final score.


Nine tenths of education is encouragement
Anatole France

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ab Initio unit: Cuestiones globales

This unit is very wide. You can talk about a lot of sub-topics. In this case, we are focusing in Conflicts and Peace and Poverty.

Discovering the knowledge through questions and inquiry this unit offers the opportunity of practicing comparisons, past tense, conditional and describing pictures talking about emotions.
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Appetizers: Sudoku de verbos

Revisiting the idea of Appetizers, quick, interesting activities to start off your class, this week we are looking at incorporating this traditional Japanese game. The adaptation is simple, switching numbers for verb conjugations.

If you want to know my students experience. Just by asking around I thought that some of them love this and others hate it. Hence, so far I was not clear on whether this activity is one of the best to start classes with or not, but just exposing students to it and paying attention to their feedback is enough to get to know if it is going to be productive with that class or not. Remember that flexibility is important as well as listening to your students to build up a positive and productive class environment.
Forms response chart. Question title: 1.- Do you enjoy playing Sudoku in your Spanish class?. Number of responses: 42 responses.Please, let me hear how does it go in your class ;)

Then, I thought I would just pass a google form to collect some feedback and the results surprised me, 83,3% enjoyed practicing and it turns out it's their favorite activity to start the class

Creativity is putting your imagination to work,
and it's produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.

Ken Robinson
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El futuro

Through this post I try to put together some thoughts and resources to teach future tense in Spanish. The main idea is students constructing the knowledge by themselves by discovery/deduction. If a student figures out the endings of a verb conjugation (looking at patterns for instance) is more likely to be easier to remember than just transmitting them the information.

I have found out that teaching past, present and future tenses together help students to comprehend them better and that there is no problem understanding the concepts, in the contrary, they have more information to contrast, compare and therefore internalize these concepts easier and with less effort.

I usually use a simple table with three columns: past, present and future, in order to organize the information. We don't just talk about verbs, we write down every word that help us identify or talk in one of the tenses. The majority of the times, we brainstorm this in class, so they are the students the ones that actually build up this chart. If they construct the knowledge is easier for them to remember and internalize.

Additional resources:

Compartir una idea, tiempo, un libro,
eso es lo que cambiará el mundo.




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