Ghosts of Spanish Teachers Past

Christine Mosso

So there you are on Back-to-School Night being warm and enthusiastic in front of your students’ parents. You’re showing the parents that their children are in capable hands-you’re accessible, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. In short, it’s going to be a good year in Spanish class. And then…the Ghosts of Spanish Teachers Past rear their heads. It starts with a comment like:

“I had 2 years of high school Spanish and don’t remember a thing.” Or

“I had a terrible time in Spanish class, barely passed it/flunked it.” Or

“Never saw the use of taking 2 years of Spanish.”

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Listen to what students are saying about Hispanic Heritage Month

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

All of us at Plaza Santillana are extremely excited about Hispanic Heritage Month! We have a month full off FREE activities for your students, author videos, amazing giveaways, and much more.

Email us your Hispanic Heritage month celebration pictures to and enter to win a classroom set of Puertas al sol.*

Listen to what students are saying about Hispanic Heritage Month**, and let us know what you’re planning for your classroom celebration.

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 Fill out the form and receive a Free Hispanic Heritage Month Poster.


*Pictures submitted for the contest will be posted on our social media sites.

**For faster download click here.


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Confessions of a Grammar Nerd

Anne Smieszny Silva

I have a confession to make. I am a grammar nerd. I love grammar. I always have, and always will.

Now, before you get all aflutter or vote me off the island or anything, let me explain. It’s somewhat unpopular to be fond of participles nowadays. Even the word “grammar” is passé; we prefer to speak in euphemisms like “forms” or “structures.” The grammar movement seems to have passed out of fashion around the turn of the century, or at least when Latin was the “world language” in vogue. Those teachers who are passionate about “Communication” (as though it could happen without grammar) seem to scorn the affinity for grammar like the head cheerleader scorns the chess club in a bad teen movie. And like that chess club, some of us grammar geeks have felt the peer pressure to fit in, leave grammatical explanations aside, embrace the catch phrases of language pedagogy as though we truly ascribed to them and only them. “Cool! Rad! Spiffy!” we say. But we don’t really mean it.

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América Descodificada

Winston Manrique Sabogal

Polola, menso, trucho, rumbear...

El español de América protagoniza el Congreso de la Lengua. Durante el encuentro, que reúne a 22 academias, se presentará el Diccionario de americanismos, un recorrido por la historia del castellano en Latinoamérica que muestra la diversidad del idioma.

Haga click aquí para leer más.


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Nuestro Blog es Bilingüe

Desde el lanzamiento de nuestro blog, son numerosos los comentarios y sugerencias que hemos recibido. Nuestro objetivo es hacer de este espacio un lugar interactivo, y, por tanto, queremos agradecer a todos los que se han dirigido a nosotros con sus opiniones e ideas.

Varios maestros nos han preguntado el motivo por el cual este blog está escrito en inglés... ¡buena pregunta!

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Spanish Teachers Talk About their Passion for the Spanish Language

Listen to what Spanish teachers are saying about their passion for teaching Spanish.

Like our video to receive a FREE Hispanic Heritage Month poster.


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We will be mailing out 5 posters each day until 9/5/2011.

Make sure to fill out this form to receive your FREE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH poster!

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S.O.S. for Teaching Spanish

Maria J. Fierro-Treviño

Whether you’ve been in the classroom one year or 15 years, Spanish teachers are always searching for up-to-date information on teaching Spanish. Welcome to the new blog site that provides a wide variety of information about teaching Spanish, implementing national standards, developing classroom activities, designing classes and curriculum for Spanish for Spanish-speakers, reading tips for teaching certain topics, and much more.

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Maria J. Fierro-Treviño

Summer is almost over and teachers are preparing for Back to School. <<Oh, wait!  What if it’s my first time ever for Back to School?  What am I going to find in my new school?  Will I like my students?  Will my students like me? ¡Híjole! I hear so much about school administrators!  O.K. I have to remember that they are not the enemy.  I hope there is a curriculum handbook for Spanish. Hmmm! I won’t be the only Spanish teacher, so I’m bound to find someone that will help me.  Maybe I’ll request a teaching buddy.  Will my teaching buddy help me with my own goals and objectives for teaching Spanish and for inspiring students to love Spanish? >>

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

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.

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