Do you want to know how to teach Spanish in a way that people will want to learn?
Their reasons for learning are diverse. They want to learn for school, business, travel, or to impress someone.
How can you be an effective teacher and give your students a great learning experience?
Keep reading to learn the top tips to teach Spanish to your students.
1. Focus on the Key Areas of Learning
Teachers tend to excel at teaching vocabulary and grammar, but they tend to miss out on pronunciation.
The most effective teachers focus on all three equally. You have to know the vocabulary to find the right words to say, you have to know the order in which they’re spoken.
You also have to get the pronunciation just right, otherwise, your students will come across as foreigners. That could put that at a big disadvantage whether they’re tourists, or be trying to close a business deal.
Unfortunately, it’s human nature to think of people with accents as beneath us.
Pronunciation does require special focus and attention. You want to correct students pronunciation in a way that doesn’t kill their confidence, yet corrects them.
Have them pronounce words slowly, focusing on each letter. It’s common for Americans to mispronounce the letter e. It’s supposed to be pronounced as Ay, not as uh.
2. Know Your Students’ Interests
Students are engaged in learning when they find the topics interesting to them. They can learn better, and retain more information because they can relate to the information better.
If you want to know how to teach Spanish, start by getting to know them. There are many topics and interests that you can use to teach Spanish.
A great example is the FIFA World Cup. That’s one of the major sporting events around the world, and it presents an excellent opportunity to teach Spanish words about sports.
You can use soccer to teach your students how to say ball, team, and the different positions and actions of soccer.
Of course, your students will be excited to shout “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL!!!”
You can do that with other sports, or any hobby your students might have. For example, if your students like gardening, you can teach them how to say different vegetables in Spanish.
3. Play Games with Your Students
Students also learn by playing games. It’s interactive and studies have shown that students learn faster when they’re engaged.
You can take almost any game, and you’ll find a Spanish version for it. Yes, there’s even a Spanish version of MasterChef board game.
Scrabble is a perfect example. This game is a way to learn and practice vocabulary. Hangman is another game that’s easy to play and entertaining at the same time.
4. Create Conversations with Your Students
The reason why your students are there is so they can learn to speak Spanish.
Conversational Spanish isn’t easy, but if you teach it by focusing on vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, they can develop the skills to become excellent speakers.
Your job as a teacher is to create a space where your students feel that they can take risks and make mistakes.
Language learners are perfectionists. They don’t want to speak unless they have it perfect.
Give them the space to take risks and they’ll feel that it’s ok to speak, even when they mess up.
That’s how they’ll learn to speak the language.
Put students in common situations where they can role play. It might be trying to order food at a restaurant, watching a soccer match, or at a networking event.
5. Use Technology in Your Lessons
Technology can be used inside and outside of the classroom to help your students learn Spanish.
There are many different resources at your disposal.
Your students can learn Spanish on their way to work by listening to podcasts, they can watch TV shows and TED talks in Spanish.
You can make assignments out of these different resources. For example, you can have students watch a TED talk or listen to a podcast. They would then have to write a summary of what they learned and present it in Spanish in the next class.
They can also learn Spanish by watching Spanish versions of popular TV shows. The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, and MasterChef are a few of the shows that air in Spain. Most of them are easy to stream online either for free or for just a few Euros a month.
6. Give Real World Examples
By this point, your students should have the confidence to apply what they’re learning to situations that happen outside of the classroom.
It can be scary and intimidating, by the only way to integrate everything you’ve taught them is to apply it in the real world.
Speaking Spanish in real-world situations can be scary for some students, and they’re going to want to be shy and let someone else do the talking for them.
With those students, take it very slow. It’s hard enough to be shy and put yourself out there. To do it in a situation where another language is spoken can be excruciatingly painful.
Take students out on field trips to Spanish restaurants and have them order in Spanish. This can be a small step to get their confidence up and encourage them to do more.
You can then take them to places or events where Spanish is spoken and have them engage in conversation.
How to Teach in Spanish
Spanish is a beautiful language that can open many doors for your students if they have an excellent teacher and work hard at continuously practicing.
The best way to teach Spanish is to encourage your students, give them a safe space to take risks, and correct them in a way that doesn’t intimidate them.
When you do that, then your students are set up for success.
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