About Speaking Latino for Teachers
Do you struggle to find Spanish lesson plans that engage your students, are fun and teach them real-world Spanish?
At first glance, from our backgrounds, it may be a bit of a surprise that we create Spanish teacher materials.
While we both speak Spanish fluently (Diana as a native, and me having spent 15 years living in Spanish-speaking countries), neither of us is or ever was a language teacher, nor have we ever studied education or teaching techniques.
However, we both absolutely love the richness and diversity of the Spanish language.
In fact, it fascinates us so much that we wrote 12 books (so far) on the Spanish unique to each country.
And Diana can spend all day looking into the history of words and phrases in the language.
But here’s how we first started creating teacher resources….
Diana’s sister is a Spanish teacher in Florida and we always heard how she’s looking for the exact video, handout, exercise, etc. that she needs to present a topic just the way she wants to present it.
In many cases, she would find something that was acceptable, but it wasn’t EXACTLY what she wanted.
Maybe you can relate?
Sometimes the materials you find are too simple. Or there’s no answer key included.
Perhaps it’s just a boring exercise your students will hate. Or doesn’t motivate your students to speak Spanish.
And if you are like Diana’s sister, whose time is so limited as she’s raising two kids, in her full-time teaching job, plus involved in extra-curricular activities, she just didn’t have the time to create the EXACT material that she needed for class.
So that’s where Diana and I joined in. We both enjoy Spanish and helping out Diana’s sister to share our passion for Spanish seemed to be a simple next step.
Shortly thereafter we began creating videos, infographics and other material for her sister to use in class.
And then we started hearing from other teachers that they had the same problems finding exactly what they wanted.
Now, with thousands of pages of lesson plans, activities, infographics, videos, handouts, presentations and posters, we continue to create fun, engaging stuff for you to use in class.
Stick with us and you’ll see more of what we create for you.
Here’s what teachers say…
“Sometimes you have a great idea but ask “Oh my goodness, how am I going to find authentic material, for me to do something with my students, that helps me prepare them from the beginning for AP” and suddenly “Boom!” I find Speaking Latino” -Nilda
“Fun, my students enjoyed the activities. It reinforced vocal and oral comprehension. Thank you!” -Graciela
“This lesson is amazing! I love the flexibility for using at many levels, and this is really well done!” -Erin
“I looked at a few lessons last night and am excited to get my plans going. This will save a lot of time researching all the videos and making the worksheets and rubrics. I have been doing all of it for years, but am always looking for new things and ways to teach the material. Great customer service too!” -Ruth
“I really like your activities. I just adjust them to the class that I am going to use them in. Thank you for all you do to help out.” -Rosa
“I just wanted to say thank you for the well designed Spanish lessons…! As a first year teacher I really appreciate that.” -Julia
About Learning the Local Language
The Spanish language is unique in each country. There are 22 Spanish-speaking countries and each of them gives the language their own unique vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation variations. Regional differences also exist in many countries.
This is a simple, powerful insight. Yet most teachers never discuss it.
If you keep this in mind while you learn and use Spanish, you will understand and communicate better.
Diana, a native Spanish speaker, and Jared, a fluent Spanish speaker who learned the language as an adult, share their research and personal experiences about local Spanish from across the Spanish-speaking world in Speaking Latino. Books and eBooks that collect and translate thousands of Spanish slang words and phrases, articles on Spanish used in specific countries, Spanish learning tips and a searchable Spanish slang dictionary with tons of local words all move you towards Real World Spanish fluency.
What other people say about our approach to learning the local language
“Jared is the go-to guy for anyone learning or considering learning Spanish, and he’ll blow you away with how much he knows about the Latin American varieties of the language.” -Donovan Nagel, Mezzofanti Guild
“Acabo de descubrir SpeakingLatino.com. Que sitio mas padre, chido, chévere, tuanis, bacán…” – Jake Fisher, Facebook fan
About Jared and Diana
Suffering a typical 9-5 existence, Jared’s foray into lunch-hour Spanish shook up his mundane life. He quit his job, stopped by briefly to school, and then left the US…for 14 years. Early stumblings in real-world Spanish taught him that a cola isn’t just a soft drink, bicho doesn’t always mean a bug, and boludo may be heartfelt or middle-finger felt. Twelve countries, three startups, two bestsellers and a Puerto Rican wife later, he’s still confounded by how many Spanish words exist for “panties.”
Somewhere along the way he convinced a gorgeous Puerto Rican woman named Diana to join him. Their personal experiences highlight common confusions of every-day Spanish -like for example Is My Underwear Inside-Out or Is It Backwards? With the views of a native Spanish speaker and a gringo who picked it up as an adult, they constantly find entertaining and controversial lessons on how to communicate in Spanish. The Speaking Latino books and later this website are a consequence of Jared’s bumblings in Spanish, crossed communications with Diana, repeated bouts with culture shock, and confusions over the correct words for popcorn, gasoline, pen, bus, underwear, traffic jam and drinking straw. One of the strangest things for him to accept while learning Spanish was why he spent years in classes, and yet a large portion of the words he learned didn’t do a bit of good in the real world. It still amazes him that depending on where you are chiringa, barrilete, papalote, papagayo, pandorga, chichigua, cometa or volantín all mean the same thing (kite).
We are both active on social media so here’s how to stay in touch: