Iflt 2013 san diego culture in the classroom from end to beginning
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iFLT 2013 San Diego Culture in the Classroom: From End to Beginning. By Carrie Toth. [email protected] somewheretoshare.wordpress.com Follow me on Twitter @ senoraCMT. About me/Contact me. What is your goal for your students?.

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iFLT 2013 San Diego Culture in the Classroom: From End to Beginning

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iFLT 2013 San Diego Culture in the Classroom: From End to Beginning

By Carrie Toth

  • [email protected]

  • somewheretoshare.wordpress.com

  • Follow me on Twitter @senoraCMT

About me/Contact me

What is your goal for your students?

  • Do students in your classroom understand why they are learning a second language?

  • What is the general feeling about language learning in your school? Town? Region?

Do you plan from the end or the beginning?

What are your goals?

Start with a HOOK!

Plan your assessments before you even begin to teach!!!

What does assessment mean to you? What will prove acquisition in your mind?

  • What resources will you use?

  • What skills will you try to develop?

  • What vocabulary and structures will students need to communicate?

  • What will proficiency look like?

  • What is the overarching theme or idea of this unit? Do all activities lead to it?

Plan Instruction!

Evaluate prior to summative assessment!

Use the principles of Understanding by Design!

  • The HOOK sets the mood for the whole unit, so be clever!

    • In the novel, La CalacaAlegre, the theme is identity so the hook gets students thinking about their own identity. Students receive a print out of their last year’s school picture and they write or draw all of the things that make them who they are.

An example:

  • The summative assessment at the end of this novel is for each student to create a mural that represents his/her identity.

    • I must have prepared students with vocabulary and verb structures.

    • I must make sure that they understand symbolism in murals.

    • I must be sure they understand what identity means and what factors affect who a person is.

    • I must know they can think critically and ask questions about others’ identity.

The assessment: A mural

Culture and Language are inseparable. In order for students to value one, they must study both!

Incorporate culture through novels!

(shameless plug)TPRS Publishing Novels

  • Unit designed around the TPRS Publishing novel “La guerrasucia.”

Example of quick unit plan.

  • Ask students to wear a blindfold and hold their hands over their ears and remain silent for 2 minutes. When the 2 minutes are over, ask the question (How does it feel to be completely unable to express yourself? How would you feel if you could see and hear but could not speak your mind?) to hook students into considering the oppression often suffered by people during a war.

Whatever your unit, begin it with a Hook!

  • Big idea: Students will use the target language in an increasingly complex manner to discuss the themes common to war as they relate to the US and Spanish speaking countries.

Desired Outcome

  • Terms related to political viewpoints: communism, , dictatorship

  • Terms related to war: human rights, kill, die, shoot, injure, fair, unfair, fear, coup d’etat, torture, kidnap

  • Where is the Southern Cone? Which countries make up the Southern Cone? Which countries were under the rule of a dictator?

  • How to identify bias in sources of information.

KNOWLEDGE (students will know)

  • Compare and contrast the Guerra Sucia with the US Civil war.

  • Accurately use new vocabulary in the target language to discuss and write about complex social topics.

  • Think critically to identify bias in resources used to study historical topics.

Skills (Students will be able to)

  • Discussion of Cautiva will include searching for bias toward one side or the other and discussion of how long post war the movie took place.

  • Discussion of the movie La HistoriaOficial will include critically thinking about which events in the movie represent political statements. Teacher will model this for 3 episodes, Students will hunt for political themes in the last 4 episodes.

  • Students will view and discuss the film “De Amor y de Sombra” and will compare Irene’s view of Chile before and after she met Francisco Leal.


  • Students will reflect critically in a journal beginning with the third episode of the movie. They will use target vocabulary to share their feelings about the events seen in the weekly segment.

  • Quiz on historical timeline

  • Poster created to further the cause of the families searching for information about their desaparecidos.

  • Introduction to the song “El Pais de Nomeacuerdo” which the students will hear throughout La HistoriaOficial.

  • Read a selection by Luisa Valenzuela.

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