World languages

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¡Me gusta! ¡No me gusta!

With the Grade 9 students learned how to talk about things they like/ love or hate.

Our topic started with a very simple video: Me gusta – Micropelis

At the end they were able to talk about their hobbies and their preferences and create a poster about themselves.

Asi soy yo - I am like that

Asi soy yo – I am like that

#Communicators

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IA IB Oral examination

The INTERNAL ASSESSMENT weight 25%. It consistits of an individual Oral and it has to be completed by mid-march

Spanish Ab Initio Oral Individual

Here are some recommendations:
1. Memorize vocabulary related to the topics of the core Ab initio syllabus
2. Practice at home looking at a picture / visual stimulus and describe in Spanish what you see.
3. Prepare yourself to answer questions on a general conversation.

Here are some strategies:
Start by describing the picture in general and then go into more detail
GENERAL:
Where is the scene? What kind of landscape? Room? Shop? Street? Countryside? Describe the location, the place, the landscape…

DETAIL:
Describe where are the things / objects / people / animals located. Use prepositions to describe position, rather than only listing the things (a la derecha, a la izquierda, en la parte superior de la foto, en la parte inferior de la foto, al lado de, debajo de…)
Describe color/size/material/function of things or objects.
Describe the people you see in the picture. How many? Where are they? What do they look like? (Appearance, clothes, emotions..) What are they doing? Why?
Make up some stories of what the people did or what are they going to do. This will enable you to use PAST / FUTURE TENSE and get a higher grade.
Include some culture

Four leaf clover is the most well-known Celtic good luck symbol. Also used in Spain.

Good luck to the Grade 12 students!!!

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Strategies to learn a foreign language

Estrategias para aprender español

Strategies to learn “español”

With the Grade 9 students, we discussed about strategies to learn and acquire Spanish Language. How to memorize vocabulary? How to learn verbs? How to prepare for an exam?

While some students suggested reading notes and reading them again, and again, and again, others highlighted the fact that very often it was not enough. I couldn’t agree more with them: most common language learning strategies don’t work because they ignore the most important rule of language learning which is: Do not study a language, use it!

Firstly, classrooms can the best place to learn languages. Of course this involve not spending most of the time listening passively to someone talk at you about the language with very little speaking on your part. However, for many diverse reasons, it is not always very easy to be active in the classroom. It might because of the high number of students or due to personal shyness. Then you will have to learn and memorize much more at home and questions might appear when their is no teacher to answer them.

Secondly, when you start studying for your exams, you probably feel overwhelmed by all the material you have to revise. Select, organize and review key material in order to make a study plan! 

Learning a Foreign Language

Then, few tactics exist…

To learn vocabulary you can:

  • Use apps and sofware such as memrise.com and quizlet.com/
  • Draw mind maps about the studied topic
  • Personally, I write word on labels and put them where I’ll see them as often as possible: on a wall, in a notebook you carry around, on your computer desktop, etc. When I was younger and learnt Spanish in Middle School, I labelled my whole bedroom in pink (female words) and blue (male words)!

To learn grammar you can:

  • Do online exercises on websites such as http://www.ver-taal.com/gramatica.htm and http://www.123teachme.com/

To develop Spanish Language proficiency, you can:

  • Do verbal exercises
  • Read out loud
  • Ask questions and answer them in Spanish
  • Redo the tasks that you did in class.
  • Study with a friend

At the end of the class, I shared with to the students a long list of resources they can use to improve their learning. They can also add their own resources to the list if they feel like it.

Become smarter, healthier and culturally richer: master of another language

Become smarter, healthier and culturally richer: master of another language!

#Reflective #Knowledgeable #Inquirers #Thinkers

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Environment & End of the World

Conservation, Biodiversity, Pollution management and Global Warming are main topics in Group 2 and Group 4 IB courses.

To end our unit about Environment, I asked the Grade 11 students to imagine the End of the World (so dramatic, right!).
First they had to pick 2 cards that I prepared for them:

  • the first card would be the “Origin” of the problem for their story,
  • the second card would be the “Consequence” of the origin of the problem.

Then, they needed to insert a certain number of information that I previously asked, such as the number of victims, the reaction of the population, the behaviors of the population, hope the population could have…). The students could use any format (diary, article, interview, blog…) to narrate the details of our End. They could use any tone (satiric, comic, dramatic…). It was the first time they would have so much freedom in their writing and that they would have to write a long story.

I thought it would be very challenging for the Grade 11 students but I knew they were perfectly able to do it. And I must say that I found their writings absolutely brilliant, full of imagination and details. On one hand, they reused all the vocabulary we learnt during the unit and on the other hand they used all the grammar we have learnt since the beginning of the year (future tense, past tense, subjunctive tense…). I am really proud of their proficiency in Spanish. I feel lucky to have such amazing students.

El fin del mundo

Extract of Nandika's work

Extract of Nandika’s work

Extract of Pamela's work

Extract of Pamela’s work

#Reflective #Knowledgeable #Communicators #Thinkers #Caring

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Spanish Written Assignment

My Grade 12 student submitted her first Spanish IB work! Hurrah!

The Written Assignment in Spanish IB Ab initio course is an independent research written paper based on the prescribed topics divided into three sections: Description, Comparison and Reflection. The student has to demonstrate intercultural understanding by reflecting on differences and similarities between cultures in 200 to 350 words.

Criterias for the Written Assignment

Sofia choose to work on Spanish Pintxos and Filipino street food.

Pintxos in Donostia, North of Spain

Pintxos in Donostia, North of Spain

Street food in the Philippines

Street food in the Philippines

The next step for Spanish IB Ab Initio is due next month and consists in individual oral task!

 

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Santa Claus versus Los Reyes Magos

In Spain, Santa Claus is quite well-known as he delivers toys and presents, but the real stars are actually los Reyes Magos, known as the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings in English. Melchor, Gaspar or Baltasar are traditionnally the ones who followed a star to meet Baby Jesus and offered him presents according to the New Testament.

The Reyes Magos travelling to bring presents to the children

The Reyes Magos travelling to bring presents to the children

When December comes, all the children in Spain and Latin America start to write letters to the Three Kings or to their favorite King to say what present they would like to receive. If they’ve been good, they get presents; if they’ve been bad, they get a piece of coal.

Letter to the Reyes Magos

Letter to the Reyes Magos

On the night of the 5th, the kids put their shoes by the door before going to bed so that the Kings will know how many children live there. They also put out something to eat and drink for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar and also water and grass for the camels.

Children's shoes to get presents and water and grass for the Reyes Mago's camels.

Children’s shoes to get presents. Water and grass for the Reyes Mago’s camels.

On the morning of the 6th, children find their presents inside and outside the shoes. The food and water placed are gone!

Another important tradition after the gift-opening is the breakfast of Roscón de Reyes. It’s a cake with candied fruit on top, to symbolize the precious gems that adorned the wise men’s clothing. Inside the cake, two plastic wrapped figurines are hidden: a bean and a small king. Whoever gets the slice of the cake with the small king is the “king” or “queen” of the banquet, and is said to have good luck for the rest of the year. Whoever finds the bean bean has to pay for the roscón!

The colorful Roscón

The colorful Roscón

#Knowledgeable #Open-minded

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¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

imgres

Central America

As the semester wraps up, the last week of class is the moment to relax and organize a small Christmas party bu cooking one or two recipes.
First we made guacamole (a recipe originally from Central America).

Guacamole

Guacamole

Then we prepared a little appetizer made of guacamole and salmon. In Spanish families, the members gather for the meal, a bounty of small dishes, spreads and finger foods covers the table. The tapas (small dishes) and aperitivos (appetizers such as paté spread over crackers) for a Christmas party obviously requires Christmas products. Salmon is part of them.

Spain

Spain

Appetizers made of bread, guacamole and salmon

Appetizers made of bread, guacamole and salmon

For the sweet touch to our meal, we decided to prepare an apple salad. The Mexican Christmas Eve Salad is an essential component to the Christmas meal and is especially popular in the Southwest. Of course, many variations exist.

Mexico

Mexico

Traditional Mexican Christmas Salad

Traditional Mexican Christmas Salad

Merry Christmas to everyone! Enjoy the Holiday Season with the most popular Christmas songs in Spanish http://spanishmama.com/favorite-christmas-songs-in-spanish/

(Thank you Pamela for the nice pictures)

#Open-minded #Knowledgeable #Reflective #Communicators #Risk-takers

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Work and Professions

An IB Ab Initio Language course prepare the students not only for use of the language in a social context but also for a professional context in the future.

For the past 2 weeks, students practiced different reading of different text types such as job offers and interviews about someone’s work and summer jobs.

Job Offers in Spanish

Job Offers in Spanish

They continued to build new vocabulary and learnt future tense in preparation for the Spanish Ab Initio exam.

Future tense

Future tense

We had very interesting talks about professions that disappeared and for what reasons. We also tried to guess what would be the future of the professions and what new jobs would appear as Healthcare and tech are among the fastest-growing sectors: : http://www.abc.es/economia/abci-estas-profesiones-futuro-201612040209_noticia.html - http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/10/26/talento_digital/1477502097_899751.html

Finally they were able to write several covers letters. I must say that it is a very difficult exercise especially in a foreign language as they are required to use a professional and formal tone. However the Grade 11 & 12 students did an amazing work.

Cover letter in Spanish

Cover letter in Spanish

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Daily Routine in Spain

 

Traditional operating hours in Spain

Traditional operating hours in Spain

Visitors are most of the time surprised by the differences they encounter between Spain’s eating, sleeping, and working schedules and those in other European countries and in the US.

For instance, in Spain, restaurants are full between 2 and 3:00 pm, shops are closed from 2 to 5 pm, dinner time is at 9 pm or later and nightlife usually doesn’t start stirring until at least 11:30 pm to carry on for most of the night.

Traditional operating hours in Spain Dinner time, Plaza Mayor, Madrid

Dinner time, Plaza Mayor, Madrid

Such differences may be frustrating for visitors but I must say that Spain’s traditional schedule allows families to enjoy a relaxed lunch together and gives friends a chance to socialize at night. Also as a teacher, I encourage to celebrate the differences that make Spain unique by embracing its rich heritage.

As we were studying about time, schedule and daily routine in Spain, I wanted to give the Grade 9 Spanish the opportunity to experiment a typical Spanish breakfast. A typical breakfast includes café con leche - strong coffee with hot milk (which I haven’t been providing), ‘Pan con tomate y jamón serrano’ (tomato bread with jamon serrano) and orange juice. It is served mostly in the south and on the coast. Fresh bread is toasted then topped with olive oil and tomato that has been peeled and ground with a cheese grater. Then you may sprinkle it with salt or the famous Spanish cured ham.

Typical breakfast in Spain

Typical breakfast in Spain

Tomato bread with jamon serrano

Tomato bread with jamon serrano

I am not sure all the students appreciated those new flavors but I am really happy that they tried.

#Inquirer #OpenMinded #RiskTaker

 

 

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Botellon: Spain’s relationship with drinking in the street

Fernando Botero, the most famous Colombian artist

Fernando Botero, the most famous Colombian artist

Fernando Botero is a Colombian artist know for his signature style, called “Boterismo”, that depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume. “The inflated proportions of his figures, suggest an element of political satire, perhaps hinting at the subjects’ inflated sense of their own importance” according to Encyclopedia Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Fernando-Botero).

Many paintings from the series called “Picnic” represents wealthy people with unhealthy behaviors (tobacco use, consumption of alcohol…). Even if in every country, wealthy people are generally more health conscious than the poor (disciplined about their diet, daily exercise, planned meals), Fernando Botero choose to represent people with an healthy diet (fruits) but also with unhealthy behaviors, as if they could not overcome an addiction. This gave us the opportunity to discuss about health, lifestyles and addictions, which are very common topics in the IB Spanish Ab Initio exam. 

botero-picnic

Botero – Picnic

Botero Picnic and Tabacco

Botero – Picnic

We discovered that Spanish people posses an outdoor culture because of the heat and lack of space inside the flats or apartments and because they are social creatures. For example, Spanish people enjoy nothing more in life than dressing up and taking a stroll (“dar un paseo”). This outdoor culture led to a cultural phenomenon known as “el botellónin Spanish.

A botellón (“a big bottle”) is a typically Spanish activity that consists of people coming together in public areas (parks, squares etc.) to socialize with their friends while drinking. The botellón has become extremely popular because of the high cost of alcohol at discos / pubs etc. and because more people can congregate in one place.

Botellón on a spring Sunday afternoon in Madrid

Botellón on a spring Sunday afternoon in Madrid

A recent study showed that the teenagers participating in botellón are looking for social interactions in a proper space. Drinking comes in after these two reasons. While many teenagers of many countries would rather stay home and play with their Tablet or video games, Spanish teenagers stays true to their love of street life. Many people love botellón and want it to live on, but unfortunately it is not practiced responsibly (noise, vandalism, alcohol intoxication). So what could be done? As none of the laws solved the issue (prohibition of selling alcohol, fines…), one of the new solution offered in some cities is now to designate botellón zones (known as botellódromos) located in non-residential areas and being monitored by local authorities.

#Knowledgeable #Open-minded #Balanced #Reflective

Guerrilla Garden in Madrid

Guerrilla Garden in Madrid

  • http://www.deped.gov.ph/