Spanish might not be the first class you think of when considering the use of technology in the classroom. Language Arts … yes … social studies … makes sense … but Spanish?
However, the use of iPads has become one of the most beneficial tools I have to help students gain a deeper understanding of Spanish content and vocabulary.
How Technology is Used
After being introduced to new vocabulary, students work in groups to think creatively and write their own unique dialogues. After the dialogues are constructed and I’ve reviewed them for accuracy, each group is handed an iPad. They are instructed to create a video, acting out their dialogues, which must include introductions and basic conversation.
For example, middle school Spanish students recently created videos about their favorite classes and their school day schedules. It’s neat to watch them embrace the challenge and get creative in their presentations. They are enjoying themselves, engaging with the new vocabulary and practicing their conversational skills all at the same time … not to mention public speaking skills, as they learn to project and present themselves.
Why Technology Helps
Learning Spanish takes place when activities are engaging and memorable. Making videos give students the opportunity to practice not only creating logical dialogue but working on pronunciation. It is fun and motivating when the students get the chance to show what they’ve learned in such a creative way.
But perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the entire project is the ability for the students to see and hear themselves speaking the language. Having a video that can be played back helps them gain confidence as they watch their language skills improve. It also helps them recognize any mistakes they may have made. They are able to positively self-reflect and determine what they may still need to practice or study.
As a teacher, it helps me give them a true and fair assessment. I can play the videos back multiple times and listen to pronunciation, the logical connection of the conversation and how well the students understand the Spanish language. This allows me to know whether each student is retaining what they’ve learned or whether as a class, we need to spend more time in a certain area.
Through the combination of various teaching techniques, games and activities and the addition of technology, our students are able to achieve a wider range of language opportunities, and hopefully a true love for the Spanish language.
About the Author
Spanish Teacher, Grades 2-8