Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to Do "Las noticias" daily using the Question Words

Okay, I'm finally doing "Las noticias" every day at the beginning of the block (in levels 3, 4, and AP) in a way that seems to be working consistently and meeting my objectives of speaking more Spanish in class, talking about current events, teaching real-life vocab that might not otherwise come up on textbook vocab lists, and using authentic resources.  I've been looking up articles on BBCmundo.com (especially under the "America Latina" tab) and taking headlines or opening lines from them to write on the board before the class comes in.  I spend about 5-7 minutes on this first thing when I get to school, and that prep time has been well worth it.

When class starts, I start pointing at the "News" and saying, "Clase, mira las noticias.  ¡Mira!" until everyone is looking at it.  I may or may not confirm their understanding of key words, unknown words, and/or the entire news bit, depending on how I feel like working with it that day, but either way, I ask whole-class questions about it in Spanish.  I have my Question Words posters on the wall directly above this whiteboard, and I go down the list of Question Words asking questions about the "noticias."

Example of Las noticias questioning:
"Clase, ¿Quién anunció que no disputaría el Abierto de Estados Unidos?"  (Rafael Nadal.  If no one answers, I give choices.  "¿Andy Murray o Rafael Nadal?")
"¿Quién es Rafael Nadal?"  (un tenista español)
"Por qué él no va a disputar el Abierto de Estados Unidos?  ¿Alguien sabe?"  (Here we talked about Rafa's "rodilla izquierda" that's injured, etc., information I got from skimming the BBCmundo article.)
"¿Cuándo es el Abierto de Estados Unidos?  ¿En septiembre o agosto?"  (agosto)
"¿Qué fecha?  El..." (27 de agosto.  If they answer in English, I say, "¡En español!")

I'm spending about 5-7 minutes at the beginning of class on this whole Noticias/question and answer session, maybe 10 when we get off on a tangent (like talking about Hidalgo, etc. from the Noticias this past week: "El presidente de México dio el "Grito" de independencia el domingo, el 16 de septiembre, desde el balcón del Palacio Nacional.") I'm finding it reasonably easy to hold their attention on the Spanish sentence as well as my Q&A, possibly because I act so interested myself in the "news" and then act really impressed when they understand it as well as respond.  I'm re-teaching saying numbers, dates, and of course the Question Words as I go, but all of that is needed (to a highly fluent/natural level) for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam.  The "noticias" are also good for highlighting names and details of important Hispanic figures, some cultural info, current events in Spanish-speaking countries, etc. without spending much time on it or doing time-consuming, class-time-wasting projects.

I'm leaving the same "noticias" sentence there for 2 days (all A and B blocks) and using it in all 3 levels (3, 4, and AP,) although I might add something to it for AP at times.  So really, I only have to look up a new news bit every other day, and like I said, it's meeting a lot of my goals for things I wanted to include this year.

If you have my 3A book you'll notice I mention talking about "Las noticias" approximately every other lesson, but I'm actually doing it every single lesson now since I figured out exactly how I wanted to do it (using the list of Question Words, by rote.)

Happy teaching...

1 comment:

  1. I like this idea, Jalen. I've wanted to includen noticias in my upper level classes on a more regular basis and this format should work well with my students. I'm going to add this activity to my lessons next week for Spanish 4. Thanks for sharing this!

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