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Isabel Mendoza nació en Cali (Colombia) una ciudad famosa por la alegría y el ambiente festivo de sus ciudadanos. Los colombianos llaman a Cali “la sucursal del cielo” y una de las mayores atracciones turísticas de...
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Anne Smieszny Silva is from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was a synchronized swimmer for eight years. She began learning Spanish in middle school. She earned Bachelor’s degrees with Honors from the Ohio State...
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Patricia Acosta is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where at age 8 she began to show her passion for education by teaching math to her (often unwilling) friends, classmates, neighbors and pets with the help...
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Mario A. Nuñez loves Madrid… and when in Madrid, he does what the Madrileños do…eat tapas “con locura”! Somehow he also finds time to go to the museums and cultural sites…
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Angela Padron is originally from Freehold, New Jersey where she grew up in a bicultural household. She had the best of both worlds learning about her mother’s English heritage and her father’s...
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María Treviño loves to travel. Visiting Spanish-speaking countries brings her greatest satisfaction. It’s impossible for her to choose one location as each city has its own special attraction. She loves to...
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Evelyn Silva nació en la pequeña y hermosa ciudad de Cienfuegos, situada en el centro-sur de la isla de Cuba. Amante del olor del mar y del sonido de las olas al chocar con los muros, Evelyn emigró a...

"Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different."

- Stephen King

Jul 28 Standards-Based Teaching and Instructional Materials in the Spanish as a Foreign Language Classroom

By jreyes 7254 Views No comments

Dr. David McAlpine University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The students in my Methods of Teaching Second Language class don’t believe me when I tell them that my best Spanish teaching experience in forty years was in a middle school classroom! It’s true! Those of you just beginning your career in a middle school will soon learn this, and those of you who are middle school “lifers” already know that these youngsters in grades 5-8 respond to content that is connected to their everyday lives and to instruction that actively involves them in the learning process. Your middle school Spanish students may show higher competencies in the three modes of communication than many of their high school counterparts because of their openness to learning new concepts, their curiosity about themselves and others, and their unabashed willingness to be a part of real-life situations.

How can the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century help create an engaging atmosphere for middle school students? Let’s look at the 5Cs and try to draw some classroom ideas from them.

Jul 28 Restaurant Visit Activity

By jreyes 4423 Views No comments

Andrea Roberson

Students can learn a lot about the different cultures around the Spanish-speaking world by visiting the restaurants in your community where Spanish is spoken. At the beginning of each school year, I challenged my students to find and visit these restaurants. Of course, I offered extra credit if the students brought in a receipt and wrote one paragraph essays detailing their experience, but my students were happy to learn about the culture, so they did it for their personal enjoyment and not the extra credit (at least that’s what I like to think).

Now that I look back at the extra credit I gave out, I realized the kids mostly went to Mexican restaurants. Yes, Mexican food is delicious and yes, it is a Spanish-speaking country, but we want our students to look beyond Mexico and gain some experiences from other Spanish-speaking countries. And we want to remind students that food is a great way to incorporate cultures from the Spanish-speaking world into our everyday lives.

So I think I’d like to issue another CHALLENGE:

Jul 28 No Bake Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

By jreyes 5185 Views 1 comments

By: Andrea Roberson

No Bake Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Yields: 24 cookies


  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 cups cocoa powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • 8 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • Combine rice, peanut butter, coconut, 1 cup cocoa powder, flour, 4 tablespoons cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne, and brown sugar in a blender or food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are well combined and stick to the sides of the bowl.

  • Use a small scoop or a tablespoon to form the mixture into small balls.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the remaining cocoa power and cinnamon. Roll the balls into cocoa powder and cinnamon.
  • Place the balls on a sheet pan, two inches apart, and flatten. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Jul 28 Teaching Vocabulary and Grammar Using Authentic Literary Texts and Other Reading Selections

By jreyes 12627 Views No comments

Dr. Emily Spinelli Executive Director, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Professor Emerita of Spanish, University of Michigan-Dearborne

For many years the foreign language profession viewed the teaching of language and the teaching of literature as two very separate and distinct activities. At all educational levels the reading of literary texts was often seen as a task that only very advanced students could undertake. As a result, the early years of instruction were generally devoted to learning the language so that students could study literature in upper-level courses.

Posted in: Spanish High School
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"Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different."

- Stephen King

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