In our current unit in Spanish I for non-Heritage speakers, students are targeting IB MYP Objective C: Communicating in response to spoken and written text. At the end of this unit, students should be able to respond appropriately to, interact in, and utilize vocabulary and phrases related to everyday topics.
Students started the unit by exploring what type of information is generally communicated in a variety of settings, from initial introductions to daily interactions at school and work, and even in interviews and on college applications. When meeting someone for the first time, we commonly ask questions to determine where a person is from; so students explored where famous people are from (such as Salvador Dalí and Octavio Paz) and then wrote about and asked one another where they were from. Moving on, they decided their age and telephone numbers should also be included in their conversations. Freshmen learned how to correctly write and say their age and telephone numbers in Spanish. Finally, they shared with one another characteristics of themselves and people they admire. Students practiced reading and pronouncing their dialogues; they also held conversations with their peers in class, who then provided feedback to help improve their learning.
Over spring break, students were asked to build upon their learning, compile their information, and share it in a video as if they were introducing themselves to a host family, a program, or a college. In response to written questions, students wrote about themselves using their names, ages, nationalities, ethnicities, likes, and dislikes. Some students even shared their phone numbers (or ones they created for the purpose of this assignment). The videos were interesting and fun to watch. Students assessed their classmates’ language and pronunciation using the IB rubrics as a guide to support their analysis.
To conclude our unit, students read about the lives of two high school students named Enrique and Maria. The plot focused on the two characters’ experiences learning Spanish in high school. Students then demonstrated their reading comprehension and analysis of the text by responding to text-based questions via written and verbal responses. Many students demonstrated IB Learner Profile characteristics such as being a risk-taker, as they stepped out of their comfort zones by recording and sharing information about themselves. We all learned something new!