What is the best practice for using telenovelas effectively in the WL classroom?
First and foremost, I think we can all agree that there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” In fact, it goes against what a balanced curriculum entails. If we are going to use telenovelas, I believe that we need to keep the following in mind:
As I am preparing for this upcoming school year, I have a deep urge to use El Internado. I will be teaching Spanish I classes. In my school district, I have not met a single teacher (yet) that is using telenovelas to teach Spanish. My thinking on this is that I will cover the curriculum by making sure I am hitting the units required by my school district:
Oh, and a whole lot of tenses that I will target regardless. My plan now is to create stories and resources that provide meaningful, contextual, and cultural frameworks that cover the required units and at the same time run them parallel to the telenovela. And many activities will be centered around the students to make connections (PQA all the way).
my game plan
A lot needs to be figured out. For example, how many days a week do we watch El Internado? How to adequately pace? How to ensure that my students are ready to take on El Internado? Reading Mike Peto’s blog, I agree that it is essential for my students to be really comfortable with the Super 7 verbs as well as the Sweet 16 ones. And I like his idea of teaching a Caperucita Roja story before embarking on the El Internado adventure.
First and foremost, I am going to begin with backward design to establish appropriate learning experiences and create an index for academic expectations. Once I have an idea of what each unit will entail, I will begin to think about assessments, and ultimately create a series of lessons.
This is going to take some serious planning time. My goal is that I will create a year’s worth of substantial enjoyment, enrichment, and advancement for my students. I am thankful for all the resources that I have found from other teachers who instruct with El Internado. As I attempt to bring this yearly “curriculum” to fruition, it’s nice to know that there are many world language teachers that have shared their experiences and resources. This is invaluable. In the days, weeks, and months ahead, I look forward to sharing mine.