curriculum writing for Spanish teachers

Curriculum Writing For Spanish Teachers

Summer is a time when many teachers find themselves writing new curriculum for their district or revamping what they have. In this post about curriculum writing for Spanish teachers, I will give you some tips about what to look for as you begin designing your courses!

Choosing a Textbook

In my district, we have decided not to use textbooks. This is both a blessing and a curse. If your district insists, or if you want to use a textbook, I have 2 recommendations:

  1. Ask for sample copies from the publishers
  2. Ask a Facebook Group what they think! So much helpful info from our colleagues is available for you!

Choosing a Method

Some of us are fresh out of college and have just finished a methods course! Others of us are more… seasoned, I choose to say, and it’s been a while. Before starting to write or revamp curriculum, be sure you understand what your district or department philosophy is. For many right now, CI is big. Proficiency-driven courses are very popular too. Some focus on heritage speakers and their needs, and others want students to be able to earn credit through AP courses.

If you’re not sure what your district wants, you can ask! You can also educate yourself on methodologies and make your case! Curriculum writing for Spanish will look different based on your department goals.

Curriculum Writing For Spanish Teachers

Now we can finally get down to the nuts and bolts. What are our students going to learn? And in what order?

My best advice can be broken down into steps: Before beginning your curriculum writing:

-Ask other department members for feedback. What do they like about the current curriculum? What’s working and not working? What do they want to keep? Get rid of? Add? Our colleagues- the people in the trenches with us- have the best perspective on this!

-Consult our national standards from ACTFL. Knowing what students are supposed to be able to do at each proficiency level can really help drive topics. Novice students are focused on topics related to self, for example.

-I find this document really helpful. It’s a list of topics that students will come across if they are taking the AAPPL Test. (The AAPPL Test measures a language learner’s proficiency level, and many districts use it as part of earning the Seal of Biliteracy.) Exposing students to these topics and vocabulary themes will give them a well-rounded background! Here are a few of the topics: about 1/4 of the full list!

-Community Life -People -Science and Environment -Technology

-Daily Life -Healthy Living -Who Am I? -Entertainment

There are many more, but you can see that they range from the traditional (like daily routine) to some things that we often don’t think to include in our units, like Entertainment!

Final Words on Curriculum Writing for Spanish Teachers

Curriculum writing can be a slow task, and sometimes includes spending a lot of time on copying and pasting the standards and strands each unit is linked to. But in the end, it’s very satisfying to have a working document for you and your colleagues to use that was designed to be student-centered! It’s a great experience that all teachers should have!


ACTFL Revised Proficiency Guidelines

AAPPL Topics

AAPPL Test Practice Activities Bundle

Spanish Seal of Biliteracy Hobbies & Free Time Integrated Listening and Speaking

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curriculum writing for Spanish teachers