Bringing It Into the Classroom
Culture varies greatly in the different regions of Spain and other Spanish speaking countries of the world. Here are a few ideas for teaching Spanish culture with an emphasis on Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is known for its cultural flair, unique style and proud regional identity. Barcelona is part of Catalonia and did not become part of Spain until the 15th century.
Locals speak both Catalan and Spanish. Most often, you'll hear Catalan first. Play recordings of Catalan and ask students to listen for phrases they recognize. Provide students with a short writing in Catalan, translated to English and Spanish. Notice similarities and differences in the language.
Two artists, who spent considerable time in Barcelona, were Antoni Gaudí and Pablo Picasso. Gaudí's influence can be seen throughout Barcelona, including La Sagrada Família, Park Güell, and the Casa Batlló. Provide images created by these two artists for students to analyze and discuss. Encourage students to be proactive. For example, La Sagrada Família is still under construction and funded completely by donations. Suggest students hold a fundraiser such as a bake sale featuring Spanish foods to raise money, donating the proceeds to the La Sagrada Família building fund.
Prepare a variety of foods when teaching Spanish culture. Tapas, Spanish appetizers, are popular in Barcelona. Due to its location on the Mediterranean Sea, many dishes include seafood. A few essential ingredients to any dish in Barcelona is olive oil, garlic and tomato such as pa amb tomaquet - sliced bread, rubbed with fresh tomato, olive oil and garlic. Barcelona dishes tend to be more creative than in other Spanish regions such as mixing raisins and nuts with vegetables or cooking poultry with fruit. For older students, provide simple recipes and ask them to prepare the dish for class.