Posted in Authentic resources

Why not edit the text?

Why not edit the text?

Many teachers tout the phrase edit the task not the text from the book by Shrum and Glisan.  I know the meaning behind it, and I believe that it can be valid.  First, I want to evaluate why teachers want to use authentic resources in class.

  • It can be very powerful for students to use authentic resources which are designated for native speakers.  They give a real world purpose to speech since they are used by native speakers.
  • These resources are also valuable because they have culture embedded in them.  They can also be current and relevant.
  • In addition, I have been able to teach more literacy skills via many of these authentic resources.
  • These can also be good models for presentational writing.
  • Finally, I like that authentic resources use more “authentic” vocabulary instead of the neutral vocabulary that our textbooks use.  For example, our textbook uses lavaplatos.  All of the resources that students saw used “lavavajillas.”  While some students will stick with lavaplatos, some of my students who notice this will remember both terms.

In addition, I would propose that there are very basic authentic resources that can be used in the very beginning levels.  I enjoyed using a TV schedule when students were using days of the week due to the number of cognates in TV show names.  You can check out this as an example.  As many teachers state, infographics are also a great use of authentic resources for beginners due to the use of pictures and text.

However, there are some problems with using authentic resources:

  • Students can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of text that they do not understand.  Many teachers have noted this especially when they switch to authentic resources after not using them.  This can quickly cause students to become disengaged.
  • Not all vocabulary is always relevant or would be used for beginners.  If you want to support all of the article, you may have to teach too much irrelevant vocabulary.
  • Some of the sections may be relevant for students whereas other sections are superfluous and too difficult.
  • If you are using an authentic resource, it may have a lot of good information, but it may end up being really long.  I found this when I was using the AirBnB website for a travel housing unit.  With only some sections of the website, it was still five pages long!
  • Unless you are going to dissect it over many days, you can’t cover everything, so your questions would not address the whole prompt.  Therefore, a large part of the authentic resource isn’t even needed by students to do the interpretive activity or to do something with it.  I know that I can be guilty of this!

Instead of eliminating authentic resources or continuing to frustrate students, there is another solution!  EDIT the TEXT.  Why?  I believe that students can still get all of the benefits from an authentic resource and eliminate a lot of the disadvantages that also exist.  Using my new, current top favorite authentic resource of AirBnB, you could easily use different sections for different levels:

For a novice level, you could give them the charts.  There are images and a chart:

AirBnB #1


In a more advanced level, you could look at the description:


Studying more about vacations and the city?  Include information about the area around the apartment:

AirBnB 3

Checking out how to write reviews?  There are plenty here!

AirBnB 4

In reality, there are 192 reviews.  You can easily pick a few that your students can understand.  I believe that from these small clips of the text, you are getting all of the benefits of an authentic resource.  If you look at the rubric for the interpretive mode, you are also able to evaluate a students’ work.

What do you think?  Do you ever edit the text?  What are the disadvantages of editing the text for novices and even intermediates?



Posted in Authentic resources, Technology

Webquest: Furniture shopping!

Webquest: Furniture Shopping

I love to shop!  When I studied abroad, I loved to wander around stores and supermarkets.  It was so interesting to see what each store had.  Since we don’t have time to pop over to Argentina and wander around stores, webquests are one of my favorite things.  When students navigate a website, they see that sometimes certain countries use different words then what we learn.  We always have a conversation about price.  In addition, websites have so many pictures that support comprehension.

I found this website for the store Falabella in Argentina.  I used this for furniture, but you could use it for clothes, sporting goods, beauty etc.  I created these questions about the website for my students.  We are going to discuss a few things about them tomorrow like what items they wanted to add to their house specifically.  However, with this website you could find so many ideas for other units!

  • You could also give each student a room to decorate and a budget then have them pick out designs for the room.
  • You could have students come up with outfits from the website.  You could even review clothes when you talk about sports because they have a huge list of athletic clothes.
  • They also have a link with job descriptions.  This would be perfect for upper levels.
  • Students could compare the technology that we have with the technology from this store.  What is similar and different?
  • If students look at their Facebook page, they can see some back to school promotions (and discuss why they are going “back to school” now).
  • Too much reading?  Check out their YouTube page for videos on gift ideas, fashion tips and commercials.
Posted in Authentic resources, Reading, Uncategorized

Evolving my interpretive reading

Evolving my Interpretive Reading

After ACTFL, I was really reflecting on how I used authentic resources.  As I said before, I really need to make sure that I am doing PRE- almost everything.  Pre reading, pre teaching vocabulary before stories.  (Maybe that will be my #oneprefix this year 🙂  I used this infographic which I have used many times.  This time, I zoomed in on the man sneezing.  Then, I had students brainstorm relevant vocabulary as well as a possible theme.  We could complete a quick think-pair-share before we started with the questions.  I really liked using the think-pair-share because it gave students an easy quick way to talk in Spanish.  If a student didn’t know a word, they would check with their partner for confirmation.

As I continue to delve into using more authentic resources, I find myself teaching more about how to use each resource.  For example, we discussed what an infographic was.  I told students how to use a picture in an infographic.  I could also give hints such as read the headlines of each topic.  It can seem overwhelming when a student cannot tell how the infographic is organized.  I am hoping that as I continue to work with these authentic resources, students will become more savvy.  I also hope that I become more savvy into how to work with each infographic!  Many times, I just assume that I only want students to get a superficial knowledge of each resource; however, I am starting to want more from my students as we continue to work with them!

In the future, I am excited to try Seesaw’s new labeling feature.  It would be great to either create something of a “book snap” about what is happening or labeling words throughout.  You could look at Seesaw as a type of Snapchat (without disappearing!)

Posted in Authentic resources, holidays, Reading

Día de los Muertos Activities

Día de los Muertos Activities

Over the weekend, I found this touching video about Día de los Muertos.  You could do a MovieTalk with this video; however, I decided to make an embedded reading about the video first.  I try to use volleyball translation judiciously, but I would start with that.  During the next reading, I will have students illustrate a few scenes especially with some of the imagery with the skeletons.  If you can find it, I like sharing pan de muerto with my students that day.

I have also found some interesting authentic resources for Día de los Muertos.  Here is a collection of 3,500 recipes for the holiday.  This is a video about sugar skulls.  Also, here is an infographic with a description of the ofrenda.  Hopefully, these will help you as you plan for the upcoming holiday!

Posted in Authentic resources

Daily Routine Authentic Resources

Daily Routine Auth Res

Sometimes, do you feel like you search for a resource and never find it?!  Then later, you hit the jackpot!  This is how I feel about my recent search for authentic resources based on a daily routine.  Here are some of my most recent favorites:

  • This is a very basic routine of this blogger written succinctly.  It would be great for the beginning of a unit.
  • This is longer, but I would start with the second part which are the details of this blogger’s day.
  • While this is a longer schedule (and a bit outdated from 2009), I think students will enjoy the fact that it is about Selena Gomez!
  • I found this last year, but I thought I would include it in my round-up: A video of a vlogger’s morning routine.
  • Finally, People en Español has Un día con… different actors, singers etc.  It is a gold mine of daily routines with lots of pictures!

Have you found any new favorite daily routine resources?

Posted in Authentic resources, Netflix unit, Reading

Interpretive reading: Fichas from Superpop

Adobe Spark-4

I am starting to develop more resources for my Netflix Unit as the year starts.  I really like these fichas for the beginning of the year resources.  They have very short phrases at the beginning with a few sentences later.  For my reading activity, I used the interview with Dani Martín and Blanca Suárez  (Yay El Internado!)

During the edcamp that I attended this summer, some teachers lamented that authentic resources really intimidate students.  I believe that it is important to start out relatively easy, so students are not overwhelmed.  I started with multiple choice questions for the most part.  My goal is to boost student confidence and show students that they are capable of tackling an article like this.  I also saw Sara-Elizabeth talk about on Twitter that she leaves space for students to write anything else that they understand.  I added this question as well.  Here is the link for the Google Form that I set up.

How do you help students adjust to using authentic resources at the beginning of the year?

Posted in Authentic resources, noticias

Noticias: Los Juegos Olímpicos

Noticias: Los Juegos Olímpicos

I wanted to share my most recent take on “noticias” when I wrote up a few articles about the Olympic games for teachers who are back in school, and can talk about the Olympics!  I discussed Honduras’ hope for a gold medal, the first person from Latin America to win a gold medal in these Olympics as well as a pretty awesome motocross Olympian from Colombia!  I also gave a bit of information about some of the Latino athletes competing for the United States.  I tried Adobe Spark this time for my presentation.

I also wanted to share a few authentic sites that you can use in your class for further conversation:

  • Here is the official Olympic website in Spanish.
  • Colombia has good coverage of the Olympics as well.
  • Telemundo Deportes also has excellent video coverage of the games.

Enjoy and go USA!

Posted in Authentic resources

#AuthRes August

Over 70 Authentic Resources for Spanish class

Sara-Elizabeth started #authres August.  Authentic resources are resources that are made by native speakers for native speakers of your target language.  I have seen some true engagement by my students over authentic resources because they are proud that they can understand it.  Many times, authentic resources also have a lot of culture embedded in them.  But, they can definitely be difficult to find!  There have been times when I have been hitting myself over the head late at night watching video after video trying to find the perfect video for my class.  Although I have shared many of my authentic resources on my blog (with accompanying activities) and on Pinterest, I wanted to create another list here.  I will also add other resources that I have found recently by category.  I did list some twice if they would work in multiple units.

Hope that these helped you!  Recently, I also wrote about how I find authentic resources.  If you have an authentic resource to share, hop on over to Musicuentos to share yours!



Posted in Authentic resources

How I find authentic resources

Finding Authentic Resources

This year, I really want to present at a conference.  As I was thinking of topics, one idea that I discarded (because I wasn’t sure if I be able to talk about it for very long) is how to find authentic resources online.  I have mentioned some of these throughout my blog, but I had not collected them into one post.  Here are some ideas as to how I find my authentic resources especially when you have time this summer to search for them:

  1. First, here is a collection of authentic resources that I have found and published on my blog.  Also, I have mentioned Sara-Elizabeth’s list before, but she has started a Google Doc where many teachers have added their ideas.  Add one and take one- or ten!
  2. My first stop when I need an authentic resource is Amy’s Pinterest boards!  Even if I do not find what I want, it helps me narrow down more details of what I want.
  3. Speaking of Amy, in one of her sessions that I attended, she suggested searching for your target words in the Google IMAGES to search for infographics.  I have found some great infographics there.
  4. With infographics, I love this blog!  You can click on any theme, and they have it sorted nicely.
  5. For shorter pop culture articles, I use Superpop.  For sports, I use ESPN deportes, and for solutions to daily problems, I like uncomo.
  6. I find almost all of my listening clips on YouTube.  Many times, I look for commercials.  However, I have noticed that there are a lot of teens talking about their lives on YouTube.  I found a girl talking about what she packs for a travel unit, giving a house tour, and TONS of daily routine videos.  (I chose this one.)  These girls discuss every part of their lives- what they bought for school, the emojis that they use, how to cook their breakfasts etc. You may have to watch a few videos, but I guarantee that you will find one video or two that will fit a unit.
  7. Finally, I encourage you to search for websites or videos that you watch and use in your daily life.  For example, if I know that I am looking for things that I typically buy at a department store, I will look for department store websites in different countries.  This is how I discovered the website Paris, supermarket website, and MasterChef website.  Again, when I search for these websites, I try to use different countries.  I do not want to stick to one or two countries.

Hopefully this summer, you can take some time to collect some more resources to use throughout the year to make your preps even easier!

Posted in Authentic resources, Technology

Chilean Store Authentic Resource

Department Store Spanish #Authres

You know the feeling… you are searching for a good authentic resource… and you hit the JACKPOT!  That is how I felt when I found this website!  It is for the store Paris in Chile.  Yes, I could have used Corte Inglés.  I love Corte Inglés.  I loved shopping at Corte Inglés during my study abroad.  However, I like to use different countries if I can especially if I can find similar resources.  This website filled everything that I needed.

This website has technology, toys, sports accessories, furniture and fashion if you are teaching ANY or ALL of those.  My students are currently studying a house unit.  Their assignment was to find different furniture and write how much each item would cost in pesos.  I included a number of vocabulary words that we were studying.  Then at the end, they could choose five other items from the website that they wanted.  I felt that this gave them a good balance of items from the textbook list and allowed them to find other words that they would find useful.  Finally, they had to total their items and write the value in US currency.  I always believe that this is so important when you use different currencies because it gives them a realistic picture.

Check out Paris for your next unit with one of these themes!  If you do use it, share how you used it in the comments, and I can add to my post.