29 December 2008

Videos from Jesús Adrian Romero

One of the nominees this year for the Latin Grammy for best Christian album (Spanish language) was Jesús Adrian Romero. I think he's my new favorite Spanish-language Christian singer (especially since I found out Marcos Witt is pastoring the Spanish church at Joel Osteen's church, but that's an entirely different story). Anyway, he has four videos on his official website. In the first, he explains his upcoming move to Phoenix. The other three are music videos, one of someone else, who I think is his son, and one a duet with Alex Campos. The video where he sings about his daughters growing up, with them sitting in the audience, is especially touching.

Incidentally, the woman who actually won the Latin Grammy for best Spanish Christian album was Soraya Moraes, who also won the the Latin Grammy for best Christian album (Portuguese language). Apparently her crossover into Spanish is new enough that there are no Spanish songs available on YouTube.

Alex Campos's YouTube channel

Alex Campos is, it appears to me, a rising star in the contemporary Christian Spanish music scene, and behold--he has his own YouTube channel. The best thing about his videos is that they're not all music. He'll sometimes post a video greeting from wherever he's doing a concert these days. Greetings always contain at least some Spanish that should be (or become) comprehensible to Spanish 1 students, but his hopes and desires for what should happen there are great up to Spanish 3. Especially if you teach in a Christian setting, enjoy!

22 December 2008

A story test

My assessment has recently shaped up to be that I have 5 test grades in each quarter. We have a high school policy that except in math, tests form 50% of the student's grade, and daily grades the other 50%. So test grades are pretty important, and I've been accused of not having enough tests in a quarter before. This is because I hate paper tests. It's so hard for me to really assess what was going on in the student's head, communicatively, and assign a number value to it. But it's a requirement, so I suck it up. And figured out a way around it, sort of.
One test grade per quarter is a grammar-based test. (A Spanish 1 example is discussed in this post.)
One test grade is the accumulation of the semi-daily story quizzes. (These are six-to-twelve point quizzes given at the beginning of class to assess their comprehension of a. the question b. the story and c. their notes on the story.)
One test grade is their in-class participation (how much they listen, watch, talk, and focus).
One test grade is a communicative project.
And one test grade is a story test. I write a story using as much target vocabulary and features as my creativity will produce, ask a bunch of questions about it, and take that for a test grade.
The second quarter story test in Spanish 1 can be found here. It's about two kids who aren't at school because it's summer, so they decide to play for three hours in the water with their very clean dog, LJ. Then LJ is not so clean, so mom gets mad and LJ ends up in the bath. Everyone lives happily ever after, LOL.
I'll post Spanish 2 and 3 story tests soon.

16 December 2008

A video for Navidad

I've been MIA a bit lately--sick and in the finals crunch at school--but I did want to post this video. It's Ana Cristina singing on the Telemundo show. The song isn't great (I hope she's better on CD than she is live) but the Spanish leading up to it is good. Even beginners should be able to pick some things out of Ana Cristina's Spanish. The host's Spanish is more advanced, mostly because of the speed.



05 December 2008

Great new song for subjunctive

I just got this new song, La frase tonta de la semana, by the group La 5a Estación.

The woman in the middle does pretty much all the vocals, and the guys play the guitar. The video is pretty good, though not the most interesting in the world. (She likes to change outfits a lot in her videos--LOL)

Anyway, this new song, aside from being really pretty, has a ton of subjunctive, most of it for two reasons--after cuando for something in the future, and after different phrases for something doubtful.

I've found that it's helpful for a song to keep repeating something as difficult as subjunctive for just one or two reasons, rather than jumping around all the myriad reasons to use it. Or, at least, if it does use it for more reasons, I only talk about a couple.

Incidentally, another great song for subjunctive, with a neat video to go along with it, is La travesia by Juan Luis Guerra. The song uses present perfect too, but the best part is the rapid switch between indicative --for the woman he loves-- and subjuctive --for the woman who doesn't exist-- so it's subjunctive by reason of nonexistent antecedent, right before the exact same verb that's indicative for the opposite reason. (See, I do know all the terms--I just don't speak them aloud in the classroom, haha.)

¡Nueva música!

I bought some new songs yesterday, and mostly they're really good:

Abrázame by Camila
No me hagas sufrir by Manny Manuel
La copa de la vida by Ricky Martin
Aguita de tu boca by Amaury Gutierrez
No creo en el jamás by Juanes
Pasos de gigantes by Bacilos
La frase tonta de la semana by La 5a Estación
Me enamora by Juanes.

That last one I don't really like that much, but I have a student who really likes it, and it won a couple of Latin Grammys, including best short video. I'm more a fan of Juanes's humanitarian work than his voice, but I bought it for my kids.

Just thought I'd share my new tunes. :)

A fantastic blog post

One of my best Spanish 3 students --he or another girl will probably win the department Spanish award this year-- forgot to post his blog this week, and so he wrote it in class today and turned it in for me to post for him. It's a late grade of course, but wow--I watched him write it in a matter of minutes without the benefit of ANY book/dictionary/vocab/etc. help. It was an encouraging moment of the day.

Yo olvidé mi blog esa semana. Lo siento. Esa semana ha sido loca. Yo tengo muchos proyectos en muchas clases, pero esta no es una excusa. En sabado, boy a tocar el piano a la fiesta de Navidad de los profesores. Yo he practicado para lo para muchas semanas. Adios, Cristián.