How to Incorporate Culture in Your Spanish Classroom

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 / Leave a Comment
How to Incorporate Culture in Your Spanish Classroom
We all know that culture is an important part of language learning, but we often don't spend as much time as we should teaching our students about other cultures.  

Let's be honest, most of the time, the culture that accompanies our textbooks is pretty weak, and we're so busy creating lesson plans for the basics of language learning, that we run out of time for culture.

You know you need to add more culture to your classes if:

A.  Your students can't name 10 Spanish speaking countries (my favorite answers are:  Germany, Japan, the U.S., and Europe).

B.  Your students are tired of learning grammar and verbs.

C.  Most of your students haven't had the opportunity to travel outside your town or state.

D.  Your students constantly say, "Why do we have to learn Spanish?  I'm never going to use it."

Let culture inspire your students to learn more Spanish so they can:  

* compete in a global economy
* be sensitive and welcoming to community members from other countries
* make new Hispanic friends
* travel to beautiful places
* learn a different perspective

At the very least, commit to spending 15-30 minutes every week on culture. Here are 15 ways to incorporate culture into your Spanish classes this year.


1.  Use free Hispanic nationality partners sheet to ensure that students work with a variety of partners throughout the year.
  
Bonus:  This will help them learn all the Spanish-speaking countries.

2.  Post interesting facts and colorful photos from a different Hispanic country every few weeks.

  
3.  Create a language cafe to share authentic food and conversation.

4.  Show short video clips from all the Hispanic countries to showcase culture.  Here are a few of my favorites:
Making Instruments from Recycled Garbage, 4 min. - In Spanish.  
Using garbage from the slums to create beautiful music.

Biblioburro, 5 min. - In Spanish with English subtitles.  
A man brings books on his burro to children in Colombian communities.  

5.  Have students look for evidence of culture in their daily lives.  
Give them this sheet listing the 21 Hispanic countries.  Whenever they find something or someone from a Hispanic country, they color the country and write what they found.  

6.  Read books that reference Hispanic culture.  
One of my favorites for juniors and seniors is "Cuentos con sazón".  Students can read the whole book or just a chapter or two.  

It's the story of a family reunion where all the relatives take turns describing their childhood adventures in various countries.  Each chapter talks about authentic food, some sort of festival and kids who get into a little bit of trouble.  

After reading the book, divide the students into groups and have them write their own chapter, including an adventure where kids get into trouble, an authentic food, and a famous celebration in another country.

7.  Discuss interesting traditions from other countries.
Do your students know about La Tomatina, the tomato throwing festival in Spain?  

Do they know about the tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight and wearing a new pair of yellow underwear for New Years?  

Kids are fascinated by this type of stuff!  

Assign a country to each student and have them research and share an interesting tradition with the class.
8.  Every Monday, have students share an article about a Spanish-speaking country.  
Lower level students can bring in articles in English and upper level students can bring in articles in Spanish.  They should be prepared to give a quick summary in Spanish of their articles.  
Here are some great sites to find free articles:
2.  El Mundo
3.  El País
4.  ABC


9.  Post realia in your classroom.
Check out my Spanish Realia Pinterest board to get you started.  Add different realia every few weeks to keep things fresh.

Infografia Esclavo Del #Celular Víctima De Nomofobia @Candidman

10.  Host guest speakers from other countries.
Track down people from Hispanic countries in your community and invite them to class to share their culture.  Encourage them to bring photos, food, and other props.  The speakers may only be able to present to 1-2 classes, so you may wish to invite multiple speakers to cover all your classes.

11.  Read children's biographies about famous Hispanics or read about famous people online.

         


12.  Share songs that showcase culture.  
El desaparecido by Manu Chao is one of my favorites that is perfect for units on immigration:


13.  Show ads or YouTube clips from Hispanic countries.
It's really interesting to watch ads from other countries - great for comparing and contrasting culture.  

And there are some awesome YouTube channels for culture.  
Just discovered this one, Benshorts Viajes, and found the perfect video for all your high school boys.  

In this video, he mixes 50 of the hottest salsas he can find to create a "Monster Salsa".  Great for a food unit and for learning the word, picante.  I love the faces that he makes when he eats it.  Ha, ha! 



Remember that you can click on the settings wheel (looks like a gear) on the bottom right of the video to change the speed of the dialogue.  If you put him on .75 speed, he actually talks at a normal speed instead of super-fast.  :)

I also love Ruben y el mundo, Canal 2.  He travels to different countries each week, speaks in slow, clear Spanish, and shares interesting tidbits of information.  

14.  Share idioms, funny memes and jokes weekly with your students.

Spanish language humor.  Llamame shirt.

15.  Have your students research and do presentations on their own hobbies in other countries.
If you have a student who loves art, have her do a presentation about a famous museum or Hispanic artist.

If you have a student who likes dance, have her demonstrate salsa, meringue, or flamenco.  

If you have a student who likes soccer, have him talk about a Hispanic soccer team or player.  



I hope that you found a few new ways to incorporate culture in your Spanish class.  I'd love to hear how you teach culture in your class.  Please share your ideas in the comments section.

Get more quality free resources for your Spanish classroom in my Free Resource Library - lots of goodies
 just waiting for you.  

* I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  This money allows me to continue bringing high quality content to you for free.  


                         

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top