Advanced Spanish with Embedded Current Events is a course that helps students learn Spanish by using it in meaningful, real-world ways. Rather than using a textbook, the course is built around authentic materials; specifically, Spanish-language news websites and other resources from around the Spanish-speaking world. The sites are selected from Europe, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the United States, and include traditional news agencies as well as government-sponsored news sources and news from organizations such as the United Nations.
With a focus on current events, the topics vary from week to week based on what is happening in the world, but general points of conversation will typically include local, national, and international events; science and technology; sports, entertainment, and the arts; politics; the economy; and human-interest stories.
NOTE: This course is one course in a four-year course rotation. Many students stay with us throughout the rotation, while others are only able to take one or two of the classes with us. We welcome students regardless of the number of years they will be able to dedicate to it. The other three topics, each offered in sequence, are Spanish with embedded Health, Spanish with embedded Economics, and Spanish with embedded Geography.
Each week, students learn about the news from Spanish-language sources and create projects and presentations to share information about what they have been learning. They learn not only from the primary news sources, but also from one another’s projects. They also interact with one another by commenting in Spanish on each other’s work, sharing common points of interest, making suggestions, and asking follow-up questions.
The course is built around the five C’s of language learning from the American Council on the Teaching of Languages (ACTFL), as well as the ideas embodied in the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements. Rather than focusing on grammar and vocabulary, it focuses on the three modes of communication as outlined by ACTFL; namely, Interpretive Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Presentational Communication. With regards to the other four C’s (culture, communities, connections, and comparisons), those are naturally embedded within the content focus of the class. For instance, local news stories are inherently cultural in nature, and students can easily draw comparisons and make connections to other communities and their own interests while learning about sports, the arts, and entertainment within those communities.
Who should enroll?
There are no formal prerequisites, but students in the advanced class should have already had several years of Spanish classes or other meaningful long-term exposure to the language. Students who are not comfortable with a class taught almost entirely in Spanish should consider our Spanish with Embedded Current Events class. Parents are welcome to contact David Nance at [email protected] with questions about student placement.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Microphone and Webcam (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures and other videos related to the course
Evaluation and Feedback
Course work is generally graded within 48 hours of the submission date. Feedback tends to be supportive rather than corrective. This is in keeping with the principles of language acquisition.
Prior to the beginning of the course, Sr. Nance can be reached at [email protected]. After the course begins, students and parents are encouraged to use the Inbox in Canvas for all communication. Sr. Nance always tries to reply to messages within 24 hours.