Most school districts offer Spanish in high schools only, so it is important that you know how to make fantastic Spanish high school lessons. Teenagers are hard to please, and yet teachers must be able to find a way to engage them immediately. This especially needs to happen in a language classroom because most teenagers see a foreign language as something they are forced to do and have little use for. It is the teacher’s job to spark an interest in language with the students.
Spanish high school lessons must be communicative, as well as be all about the students. Teenagers are focused entirely on themselves and their immediate surroundings, as well as eager to communicate and talk with friends or talk about enemies. With Spanish, teachers have a bit of an advantage because the class is all about communication. Take advantage of that and be sure to plan lessons around what the students are interested in, and then have them talk about it together.
Obviously, there is a little bit more involved with planning Spanish high school lessons because teachers do have other requirements, but it is possible to practice all skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) by having a communicative class.
Let’s take a common unit: Describing yourself and others. Usually, what happens is the teacher passes out a vocabulary list, there are a few vocab quizzes, a lesson on ser and adjective agreement and then you finish up with a unit test. No teenager is going to enjoy that.
Instead, start off by giving that vocabulary list. If you want, have the list completed, or give the students time to complete it. Be sure to make the words the most important ones of the unit; the rest will come with time and self-discovery by the students. Upon completion of the list, have a generic question and answer conversation with the students. As the teacher, you will be MODELING the correct usage of words and grammar in a non-lecture manner. A conversation may go like this:
Teacher: Clase, mi madre se llama Joan. Mi madre, Joan, ella es muy bonita. Sam, ¿es tu madre bonita?
Sam: Sí, mi madre es bonita.
Keep in mind that bonito and bonita are on the vocabulary list with their translation. By having this dialog with the entire class or just one individual will encourage immediate use of Spanish. After practicing and rehearsing this type of dialog, you can then have the class split up into conversation groups, and pose a few questions. These questions should be very similar to the one you just discussed with the class. In the scenario provided, the teacher might write on the board ¿Cómo es tu abuela? for the groups to discuss ALL in Spanish. Again, note that ¿Cómo es…? is on the vocab list. Keeping words and phrases handy will give the class the confidence they need to hold these conversations.
This is a way to introduce great Spanish high school lessons, but how could you continue this? What ways would you use to plan great Spanish high school lessons?
Check out these other articles about Spanish Lessons.