Easing new Spanish students into learning a new language can be challenging. Most students respond well by building on their knowledge of English and seeing the similarities and differences between English and Spanish. This article suggests a “first-day-in-class” approach to begin learning Spanish.
Spanish past participles are the key to the second seven Spanish verb conjugations and, as in English, do double duty as adjectives. Students need a good foundation in this versatile verb part, and should memorize the most common irregular forms.
This lesson plan promotes critical thinking on a controversial historical issue surrounding the aftermath of the US Civil War: Should Robert E. Lee have been charged with treason? Teachers can either use the plan for an interesting discussion, writing assignment, or expand it to a mock “grand jury.”
Spanish prepositional pronouns are a special category of object pronouns. They follow prepositions, but unlike English they don’t mimic their regular objective forms. They also help to clear up confusion caused by using the indirect objects “le” and “les.”
Spanish reflexive verbs are both similar and different from what we English speakers are accustomed to. Like English, Spanish reflexive verbs direct the action back to the subject. Unlike English, the “boomerang” effect is not always obvious. These verbs are also used to express the passive voice.
Teaching younger Spanish students online poses some special challenges for the instructor. Curt Smothers, who tutors Spanish online for a national tutoring service, talks about some of the approaches that have worked for him.