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Learn Spanish free: Aula de español

This is one of these pearls you find in the internet thanks to altruism and people that really love what they do. 
You will find 8 complete units for "emergent communicators" (A level for CEFR) with everything you need to learn/teach them.
Topics are (click on the link to see the unit):
All units are totally interactive and divided in four sub-categories. It also provides an orientation and unit planners for teachers. The site is plenty of "match them up", language games, fill in the blanks and different types of activities like dialogues, grammar, verbs or vocabulary.

Definitely, if you are looking for a resource to learn Spanish independently or resources for your Spanish classes, support for you students at home, complimentary activities... this is one of the best sites to visit.

Visit the website clicking here

A man without education
is like a building without foundation.
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An acronym to learn noun gender: LONERS

I know simplification can be a problem if we don't understand what it is and everything it comes with it... but if we truly understand that simplification doesn't mean we are going to live in a perfect world and we still have to face trouble because of the exceptions... can be a great tool to work with and can be very beneficial for our students.
This poster strives to be a colorful resource to remember our acronym: LONERS for masculine nouns in Spanish and also provides examples for each ending. 
Matching colors are a great strategy for visual learners to remember things. 

Try yourself out with this activity below to see if you internalize this concept:

Let's recap:

If a word ends in l,o,n,e,r,s it's almost always going to be a masculine word in Spanish.
Remember: in language there are no rules without exceptions ;)

If this works for you don't hesitate to use it, share it or print it out;)

More related resources:

Don't put a limit on anything.
The more you dream, the farther you get.
Michael Phelps
22 medals

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Expressions in Spanish: Empezar la casa por el tejado

I want this post to be simple, because simplicity is a hard goal to pursue ;)
You will find: 
  1. Resources to learn/review/teach this expression in Spanish
  2. A visual resource to provide your students with
  3. A beautiful "pop" song in Spanish on this topic to practice pronunciation and see the expression in context.
  4. An informative article about economical crisis using this expression in context too.
The context this expression normally can be found is when you realize you haven't done something well form the beginning or when you want to give this type of advice to somebody you see he/she is doing something all the way around he/she should be doing it.

If you want more expressions in Spanish click here

Want to know more?

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Past tense contrast in Spanish: a brief explanation with examples. Guest post

This is the first guest post in my blog. 
I'm so excited about it! Thanks Ana!
Our buddy blogger Ana brings us an explanation with examples and very interesting tips on when to use perfecto or indefinido and interesting input about different usage within different varieties of the Spanish language. 


El uso de los pasados en español puede resultar confuso para los estudiantes. Aquí tenemos un ejemplo del uso simultáneo de los tres pasados simples en un diálogo cotidiano, corto y sencillo:

A: Hola, vecino. ¿Otra vez por aquí? No te he visto este verano, ¿te has  ido de vacaciones? 

B: Sí, fui/ he ido a hacer un tour por Asia. Estuve sobre todo en  Vietnam.

A: ¡Qué suerte! ¿Y te ha gustado?

B: Sí.  Es precioso, pero hacía mucho calor.

El truco está en relacionar las  acciones pasadas no con  el tiempo real, puesto que todas las acciones  surgieron en el pasado, sino en cómo relaciona y asocia esa  acción consigo mismo y con el relato el narrador. 

Utilizamos el pretérito perfecto para relacionar los hechos pasados que el narrador asocia  con el tiempo / realidad presente. Para ello, nos puede dar algunas pistas en el diálogo (siempre, nunca, este verano, etc.), aunque no es necesario.

Ejemplo: ¿te has  ido de vacaciones? ¿Y Te ha gustado?

Hay que detallar aquí que  es correcto e intercambiable en algunas partes de España y variedades latinoamericanas  usar el pretérito indefinido: 
¿Te fuiste de vacaciones? ¿Te gustó?

El locutor narra los hechos  sin relacionarlos con el momento presente: Para ello, también nos puede dar alguna pista (ayer, el fin de semana pasado, la semana pasada, el lunes, un día, el 4 de octubre de 1977, etc.), aunque tampoco es necesario.

Ejemplo: Estuve sobre todo en  Vietnam.

El narrador lo utiliza para dar el trasfondo o contexto a los hechos pasados (así es como los ve él en relación a la historia que esta contando), independientemente de que estos se hayan narrado en indefinido o perfecto.

Ejemplo: (…) hacía mucho calor. 

Ana Belén Merlo Ormeño
Aquí puedes consultar su blog ;)

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IB Profile: Reflective

Hi there!
Today I want to share a contribution from one of my students. Miguel Dao loves computers and graphic design, he is very creative as you can see in the poster. Thanks Miguel for doing this awesome visual resource and sharing with everyone.
Miguel is taking Spanish ab Initio and he is a great example of what an IB student must be.
The poster includes:
  • A definition of the attribute in Spanish 
  • A representative celebrity that constantly shows this IB profile attribute
  • An example of the concept
Double thumbs-up for him and his work ;) 

Check your answers here ;)

Sources and links:
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Spanish B Unit: Hambruna y pobreza

I am going to start this post with a quote from a really inspiring person: George Bernard Shaw.

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea an we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

I really agree with this thought. We need to be able to open our classes and our minds to others, especially among teachers, so we can all move up together. Open doors can make a difference in our lives. Nobody is perfect and no-one should expect that from others.

In this post you will find all resources you need to do this unit with your IB Spanish SL class. If you think something can be improved, you have materials/resources than can be used along with this unit and/or you are missing something on this list, please let me know.

Unit's resources:
Let's your students practice what they've learned playing this crossword with key vocabulary related to the unit:

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Language games (I)

Just a simple idea: games are fun and can be educative. 
Not because our students are playing games are necessarily learning. There are some controversial opinions out there about this educational approach.
I, personally, prefer "real" games, like "old" games as word-games, or some sort of game that involves hands-on, logic... because we can work through more angles and bring different skills to our class.

Also, timing is crucial for implementing games in our classes. The person that knows better your class is you. So, make some time to think about when this activity fits better within your class time. 
A few tips to take into consideration:
- games are great to be used as "transitions" if they are quick and students understand clearly the directions [you might want to spend some time practicing with your students before letting them rule the game]
- games work just beautiful at the end of class
- a good idea can be to give your students a grade [extra-points can be considered for this] for the game. This always motivates some students.

Today I want to share with you this simple but very effective language game. 

El padre de Ana tiene cinco hijas, que son: Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. 

¿Cómo se llama la quinta hija? 

Through this simple sentence we are lighting up our students imagination, their capacity to develop critical thinking, logical thinking, curiosity...
We are encouraging them to think about the language itself (metacognition) and taking ownership of their discoveries. In the end, they have fun doing these easy brainteasers. To develop their prediction capacity, their guessing ability will help them a lot in their future real life situations.

Another classic language game is make students say or write a word starting for the same letter than the previous one ends. 
You organize your students in a circle, the first student says a word in the target language and the next has to come up with a word beginning with the last letter of the previous word.
Example: estudiar-risa-árbol-leer-ratón-nadar-...

Want more games? Check this fabulous website with 47 language games for learning a foreign language.

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.
George Washington Carver

  • Squire, K.D. (2002). Rethinking the role of games in Education. Game Studies, 2(1)
  • Squire, K. (2003). Video games in education. International Journal of Intelligent Simulations and Gaming (2) 1.
  • Do Your Players Know Their Role? - What Games Are, August, 2011
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    IB Profile: Communicators

    Nothing makes me prouder [as a teacher] than seeing my students making progress and doing a better job than my own work. 
    Today I want to share a piece of work made by my students, a poster made by my skillful "chic@s": Valentina, Oscar y Santiago as a part of an in-class activity. I think the image talks by itself and summarize the concept of being a good communicator but just in case, they added:
    • Definition 
    • A representative celebrity that constantly shows this IB profile attribute
    • An example of the concept
    Double thumbs-up for them and their work ;) 

    Check your answers here ;)

    Interested in IBLP? Check this post





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