teaching Spanish 3

Tips For Teaching Spanish 3

So you’ve been told that you will be teaching Spanish 3 next year! If this is a new course for you, or if it’s been a while since you’ve taught Year 3, you might be nervous. What should you expect? What do you teach? How do you teach? What should these students be able to do?

I have great news for you! For me, Year 3 is the Best!!! You will love it and I can’t wait to tell you why!

Expect Great Changes

When students start Spanish 3, they are still language babies. They are probably still functioning at Novice High. Their vocabulary is still pretty limited, and their knowledge about language is limited. They may lack confidence, especially with speaking.

My first tip is to be patient at first, but keep your expectations high. The absolute best thing about Spanish 3 for me is that their growth is exponential this year! By March, students are creating with language and working in more than one time frame. Their vocabulary is much bigger, so they start to talk and write in a way that let’s you see their real thoughts and personality. They’re not as limited by memorized phrases.

So continue to build the rigor of the activities you offer them. They will rise to the occasion!

Take Advantage of Their Maturity

In my school, the majority of students taking Spanish 3 are sophomores. This means that they are no longer freshmen and some of the immature behaviors have been phased out. However, they are not yet driving, working part time or quite as into older kid drama. It’s a sweet spot!

Therefore, it’s a great time to gamify their learning. Sometimes with less mature students, playing games or getting out of seats can mean uncontrolled chaos and no learning. Spanish 3 students are at the perfect point to try out all kinds of games!

They are also ready to absorb lots of tips and tricks you might give them. That code word they need to enter the room is something they’ll buy into. That reading strategy you demonstrate will stick!

They Will Still Resist Speaking

Another of my tips for teaching Spanish 3 is to make them speak- a lot, and every day! At the beginning of the year, no matter what I do, students act as if they’ve never been asked to speak Spanish before! I hear, “Can I go out in the hall to do this?” and “Can I do this at home?”. The answer is always no. I remind them, kindly, that everyone feels uncomfortable, but they are in a WL class, and since I am required to assess them on their speaking, I must require that they practice.

By November, they’re over it. By March, there’s no hesitation! And even more exciting, their level of creativity is blossoming and it’s so exciting!

Last Tip for Teaching Spanish 3

Last but not least- I recommend keeping some of their samples from the beginning of the year. For example, I start most of my classes with a situation task card. Usually I have them speak to a partner, but sometimes I have them write. I keep those writing samples from September. I may also ask them to record a response and link it into a chart.

A few months later, I pass those back. I ask them to really think about what they can do better or more of now. And by March and April, I have students who have earned the Seal of Biliteracy, who can write 3 page stories, who are consciously trying to use more than one time frame or use transition words to make their sentences more complex.

Take time often to highlight their achievements! It’s motivating for students, and I find that they don’t often recognize it in themselves. Even a quick remark like… do you remember the first time we did an activity like this? And they all nod and roll their eyes remembering how they refused, or had one-word answers. But now they can do so much more! Those are great moments!

You will love teaching Spanish 3!


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teaching Spanish 3