International Spanish Immersion School, New York.
American 70%, French 25%, Spanish 2%, Mixed nationalities 3%
Cultural Activity #1- Spanish Language and Literature
January 30th 2017, ISB Classroom – Middle School 8th grade students
As part of introducing, learning and enjoying the Spanish language and culture, I used typical Spanish events or traditions to do a special lesson to transmit our culture through some specific celebration or traditions. With my 8th grade Language and Literature class we dedicated several sessions to investigate and work about different festivities, culture and traditions from Spain.
First, my students love the Spanish culture, and it made me feel that I had to do something special for them.
Students had to choose a topic, celebration, tradition, or typical culture that they knew from all these years learning Spanish at the School or one they wanted to know. There were three groups of two students, each group dedicated to work and prepare a presentation about the topic they chose.
The celebrations and topics presented were: La Tomatina (celebration), Soccer (tradition, culture) and San Fermín (celebration). The presentation was a total success. The students enjoyed so much preparing and introducing their topic to the rest of their classmates.
Students are amazed how Spaniards celebrate their traditions and how they feel about soccer. They found that in Spain people are very passionate and proud of their culture and they love to welcome people from all over the world to their festivities and traditions.
The kids became more aware of the Spanish culture and it was an amazing experience for them. They learned new vocabulary in Spanish through celebrating the Spanish culture, festivities and traditions.
Cultural Activity #2- Dialogue with a school in Spain via Skype
January 25th 2017 – 7th grade Language and Literature subject students (Brooklyn) and 6th grade (Spain)
In November we had a visit from a Spanish school from Madrid. Our school hosted this Spanish 7th grade class for almost two weeks. It was a very enriching experience having native Spanish speakers in class. My students get to practice their Spanish and also see the real meaning of learning a second language.
My students loved these students and they become really good friends with them, as most of these kids were hosted in their houses.
As a result of the nice relationship that the students had among each other, both schools decided to keep in touch and do an activity together trough a videoconference. So finally, we come out with the idea of having a debate about a current topic that could work for both countries. The topic chosen for the debate was “immigration”.
The teachers from both schools worked together creating the questions that would be asked to the students during debate, and separately each school practiced these questions before the day of the debate in order to help students be prepared to present their ideas and defend their opinions properly.
We agreed that the language that would be used in this debate would be Spanish, as well as the same behavior rules for participating in a group of discussion. The students were very excited about this activity, they practiced the questions of debate also at home with their parents and they had been talking about it for two weeks.
The day of the debate was a total success, both schools defend amazingly their ideas and most of the time they agreed with the same things. We barely had confrontation and the students were very respectful during the whole time.
The students had a great time participating in this group of discussion. They practiced their Spanish on a formal level and also in a real situation. This activity was very significant for the students as they could have another chance to see and interact with their Spanish friends.
Cultural Activity #3 – Cross-cultural activity outside the host school – Activity: Puppets Play of “Juan Bobo”
February 1st 2017, Poly Prep Country Day Middle School – 8th grade students (Spanish Language and Literature subject) and Poly Prep students of Spanish as a Second Language (Middle and High School).
In collaboration with the Art Teacher and the Individuals and Society Teacher, we prepared a puppet play inspired by the Puerto Rican traditional story named “Juan Bobo”. With the help of the Art teacher, the students designed puppets using papier mâché, wire, and plaster to create anatomically correct models, and they worked together to create a set and props for the play as well. With the help of the individuals and Societies teacher and myself, they translated the book, and prepared the dialogues and narration of the history in Spanish.
The students rehearsed with the puppets before presenting the play to the other school; the day of the performance they were very excited and proud of themselves about making such a wonderful demonstration of their command of the Spanish Language!
The students of the other school enjoyed an enriching opportunity to watch a play in their foreign language of study, and our students could demonstrate their skills in the target language outside of the school.