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Spanish Hellos and Goodbyes: A Lesson for the First Few Days of Class

written by: djthyberg • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 10/17/2014

This lesson activity is designed to teach students how to say hello and goodbye in Spanish. It is intended for beginner students with extremely limited Spanish capabilities. It will get them speaking to one another and memorizing a variety of key phrases. It could be used on the first day of class..

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    Importance of Greetings

    Children waving in greeting. Saying hello and goodbye are among the most fundamental aspects of any language. Students who are studying Spanish will need to learn a few different ways to greet others as well as how to say goodbye. This is key as students begin to learn how to handle real interaction with other Spanish speakers.

    In many cases, a simple greeting followed by a cordial farewell is enough to get you through a brief encounter with a native Spanish speaker. This lesson activity is intended for beginning students with extremely limited Spanish capabilities. It will get them speaking to one another and memorizing a few of the most common phrases for saying hello and goodbye.

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    List Words and Phrases

    Have your class pay close attention as you go over the vocabulary words and phrases to be covered for this lesson. You will need to use a chalkboard or an overhead projector. Make two columns. One is titled “greetings," and the other “saying goodbye." The left hand side of each column will be for Spanish words, and the right side will be for the English translation.

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    Pronounce Words Together

    Write out each word or phrase from the following list while saying them aloud and having the class repeat the words as well. Here is the list of greetings and farewells. Feel free to add more phrases to this list at your own discretion.


    hola - hello

    buenos días - good morning

    buenas tardes - good afternoon

    buenas noches - good evening

    ¿qué tal? - what’s up?

    ¿cómo estás? - how are you?

    ¿cómo te va? - how’s it going?

    ¿en qué estás? - what have you been you up to?

    ¿qué hay? - what’s going on?

    Saying Goodbye:

    adiós - goodbye

    hasta luego - see you later

    hasta pronto - see you soon

    hasta la vista - until we meet again

    hasta la próxima - see you next time

    chau - bye

    cuídate - take care

    nos vemos - see ya

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    Once you have gone over the phrases with the class, it is time to practice the material. Have your students break up into groups of two and face away from the board with the vocabulary terms. In each group, the students should try to greet one another with distinct phrases from the list of greetings. After saying hello, they can try to say goodbye. Again, the goal should be for each student to use a distinct phrase when bidding farewell.

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    Check Progress

    Check to make sure that each group is making progress. You want the students to say hello and goodbye to each other with multiple phrases. The aim here is to have them work on as many combinations as possible in terms of the phrases. Have them see how many different ways they can remember to greet one another and say goodbye without looking at the board for help.

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    Switch the groups up and have the students practice with a new partner if additional practice is necessary. Afterward you can review by approaching each student individually and greeting them. They should respond with a distinct greeting phrase from the list. Say goodbye and wait for the student to respond. Move on to the next student, and make it clear that they need to use different phrases than the classmate who spoke before them. The students should be familiar with most of the terms by the time you finish reviewing with each of them.


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