Motivating Spanish Language Learners to Write
So just how can Spanish language teachers meet the challenge of getting Spanish language learners to write? By having language learners write on topics, themes and experiences that they are passionate about, that’s how. Forget those typical, boring to a fault essays on “What I did last …" You know the ones. Who cares what you did? If nothing really terrific happened, your Spanish language learners may not particularly care about it either. If the experiences we have are dull, boring or bad, language learners may not even want to write about it.
On the other hand, if they get a chance to relate “happenings" from their first-ever trip to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador or Spain, now we’re cooking. If they encountered a hot-blooded Latino or Latina, you can just bet that wild horses couldn’t restrain their writing enthusiasm in telling the story. Think about it; “How My Colombian Summer Love Improved My Spanish". I’d read it, wouldn’t you? If it were me, I’d write it too (except for certain “juicy" little parts, that is). Wouldn’t you too? Many other events might fire up your Spanish language learners to write with passion as well. A new or favorite restaurant which serves Spanish regional dishes, a Spanish course they liked – or didn’t like.
How about a summary of a newspaper, magazine, online story or article in Spanish. Learners could well write about plans they might have for upcoming trips, adventures or “conquests". How about some “juicy" gossip related to a favorite singer, actor, entertainer, sports figure or other famous personality? Speaking of which, did you hear what Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (pictured) called U.S. President Barack Obama?
A performance your language learners have seen, a book they may have read or a country, region or even a Spanish neighborhood they’ve “explored". These are might provide fertile fodder for a passionate written piece – in the Spanish language, of course. The proof is in the details!