04 February 2011

Short listening activity tailor-made for beginners

I'm going to an unconference tomorrow - my first full one. I managed to attend part of one before and enjoyed it. It's being put on by @tmsaue1 with the public school district and they're kind enough to invite private school teachers to tag along. This post is for the unconference (and you).

Last year when Camila hit it big (again) with their single "Mientes", they had a YouTube contest- sing the song, upload your video, see who gets on Camila's channel. (There might have been a bigger prize but I'm not aware of it.)

The part that struck me was that all of the finalists begin by introducing themselves. They say where they are from. A few say how old they are. What does that sound like to you? Chapter 1 of Spanish 1, ¿no?

I'm aware that this audio is difficult, but this audio is authentic. This is how real people who speak real Spanish sound like when they introduce themselves and tell their age. My mantra again - if all we ever feed them is learner Spanish, it's all they'll ever understand. Be prepared for students to freak out the 2nd or 5th time they listen to the 15 seconds each introduction takes. But keep at it. Help them find the numbers. Help them find the countries. If no one can get it, give it to them, but then listen through it again once everyone knows what they're hearing. We've got to train their ears, and we'll never do it by saying "that's too hard for them." Telling myself "nah, that's too hard for them" is how I ended up with fourth-year students with unnecessarily low listening proficiency for authentic audio.

And then - have some fun with it. Which version of "Mientes" do they like best (me gusta...)? Describe the people in the contest. Which guy do the girls vote el más guapo? Which girl do the guys think is la más bella?

Here's the playlist for Concurso Camila - Mientes (look on the right).


Sra. Spanglish said...

Awesome! This is exactly the kind of thing I need!

I made my kids make videos for David Bisbal's Mi Princesa contest last year, but missed the submission deadline :(

Srta. Laursen said...

Did you have to get around internet blocks at your school to show these videos? Youtube and many other video sites are blocked at my school.

Sra Cottrell said...

Occasionally I have a block, but fortunately not on YouTube. I'm finding more and more school districts are understanding the educational value of YouTube... I hope yours does soon. Are you able to access authentic video/audio like the videos on univision.com, e.g.?

Señora Bush said...

Fabuloso! I love it. Did you have all students watch each person as a class and then ask/answer partners? Gracias!

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