Friday, March 8, 2013

Observación de Francisco en Santiago, Chile

While I was in Santiago this past summer I attended a school for foreigners who wanted to practice/refresh their Spanish skills.  Since foreigners come from all over the world and have various language proficiency I was interested in seeing the structure of a beginning Spanish course.  On a Monday morning I observed Francisco as he met and taught his students completely in Spanish.  Here are some highlights.

  • Francisco began by asking the following question:  ¿Cuál es la pregunta por esta respuesta?  What is the question that matches this answer?  As you will see, some of the questions are quite ambiguous, which made multiple questions possible and also allowed students to get to know their teacher while reviewing their Spanish:
    • Francisco (Eliciting the question, ¿Cómo te llamas? What is your name?)
    • Sí, y muy feliz. Yes, and very happy.  (¿Estás casado/a? Are you married?)
    • Santiago, Chile (¿De dónde eres?  Where are you from?)
    • No, todavía.  No, not yet. (¿Tienes niños? Do you have children?)
    • Profesor de español  Spanish professor (¿A qué te dedicas?  What is your job?)
    • Sí, dos.  Yes, two.  (¿Tienes hermanos?  Do you have any siblings?)
  • When Francisco came across a word that he was not sure if students would understand he asked, ¿Sabes qué es ______?  Do you know what ____ is?  or ¿Qué es?  What is it?  If a student knew the answer they were then allowed to explain the meaning in Spanish.

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