I just finished teaching my first period Spanish 3 class which consists of 13 juniors and 1 senior. They are a bright and driven group. We spent today watching a video and working on listening skills through it. Afterwards the students were talking about how they can read and write Spanish but still have a hard time understanding it when they hear it.
This prompted a crazy thought in me.
It was probably the large quantity of caffeine I had consumed 30 minutes prior talking but I proposed something to them. I asked them to answer yes or no to the following statement, “I want this class to be completely in Spanish”. They were to vote privately on paper, sí or no.
Before they voted I told them the following things, all in Spanish:
-It will be hard. You will be frustrated. You will probably want to do me harm at some point.
-Your head will hurt.
-We will move slower and you will not learn as much “formal grammar”.
-You will learn to understand spoken Spanish.
-I will expect your to speak more in Spanish.
I told them about my experience being fully immersed in Spanish in Mexico.
-I learned more in 6 weeks than I had in the previous 5 years.
-I had the worst head aches ever.
-I was extremely frustrated and overwhelmed.
After this was all said and done. The students voted yes or no on paper. No one really discussed it with each other. They all voted privately on their own. I had 12 of my 14 students today (I emailed the two that are sick). As I opened up the votes I was surprised that every single one said “sí”. I expected there to be at least a few that said “no”. I’m not sure they know what they’re getting into but I know that they want to learn and they are motivated.
I am simultaneously excited and terrified. This is going to be as challenging for me as for them. I’m excited for the challenge and I’m excited to watch these students struggle (in the positive sense of the word) and grow.
If anyone has any advice, please tweet me! I will need it! @lisajmch
Stay posted for updates on this adventure!
Until next time,