Memes are a great way to illustrate/review grammatical concepts and expand vocabulary!
One of the first goals of this website was to provide an organized site that I could refer to my students to find memes for fun practice on their own. I was not comfortable referring them to the original sites where I find the memes because there is a lot of inappropriate/offensive content. Furthermore, here I can narrow the selection to what will be most helpful for students and categorize them by topic.
Students respond very well to the incorporation of memes into the classroom. I use memes as a basis for quick conversation/analysis while illustrating target grammatical concepts. Since my goal in the classroom is to maximize communicative activities and maintain conversation in Spanish-only, I am working on a video series that has more slow-paced, English-based explanations of how these memes illustrate the grammatical concepts. My hope is that it will be an interesting way to review and/or present the material in a different way.
I am working on making more videos this summer because in Fall I will be teaching more “blended” classes with less time in the classroom and more time in online learning. The goal is not to assign my videos to students, but to offer them as a resource for further explanation/exploration/review that will complement our in-class communicative activities. This is the first “meme-based” video, so feel free to give me any constructive criticism!
Enjoy the video!
The word “time” in Spanish can be translated to Spanish in several different ways! This is a source of confusion for many of my students, so I made this video to explain which words to use depending on the intended meaning of “time” in different contexts.
Enjoy the video!
Who’s that present for? Who did you go to the movies with? Sure, grammar rules tell us not to end sentences with prepositions in English, but we hear it all of the time!
Spanish, on the other hand, is a different story. This contrast leads us to such mistakes as “*Quién es este regalo para?”
In this video lesson, I explain how to understand and fix the common error of ending phrases with prepositions in Spanish.
Want to test your knowledge before you get started? Here is a free handout:
Try it before watching the video, try again after the lesson is finished, and then check the answer key!
Enjoy the video!
Also, here is the lyric video for the song I mention in the video, “¿Con quién se queda el perro?” by Jesse &Joy.
In this video I share the 3 tips I use to explain Spanish vowel pronunciation.
Follow up comprehension questions:
(1)What are the 5 vowels in Spanish?
(2) What is a tense vowel? Which vowels are tense in Spanish?
(3) What is an example of a vowel sound that we use in English but not in Spanish?
See below for answers.
1. A, E, I, O, U
2. Our muscles are more tense and engaged when we pronounce tense vowels. All vowels in Spanish are tense vowels (A, E, I, O, U).
3. Answers will very. Some include the “A” in “cAt,” the “I” in “kId” or “fIt,” the “uh” in “bUg” or a relaxed pronunciation of “edUcation.”
I have found that when students are able to answer these questions about Spanish vowel pronunciation, they are able to analyze and self-correct their own pronunciation.
By answering these questions, students demonstrate that they know which vowels to stick to, which vowel sounds to avoid, and physically how Spanish vowels are pronounced in contrast with the lax vowels in English pronunciation that so often interfere with their Spanish pronunciation.
This tense vs. lax distinction is superior to the “short” versus “long” vowel explanation commonly found in textbooks because it allows students to make a physical connection to the vowel pronunciation (by placing the hand on the cheek to feel the tense cheek muscles.)
Furthermore, vowel length is variable, so the “short” versus “long” distinction can be unclear and cause confusion.
Do you have any other tips you think should be included in Spanish vowel pronunciation instruction?
¡PTK! The tip I share in the video below is my favorite pronunciation tip because it was SUCH a “light bulb moment” for me when I finally learned about /ptk/ in my first Spanish linguistics class. The thing is, I had already been learning Spanish for SIX years!
I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated that none of my previous Spanish teachers had taught me this and other pronunciation tips, but it also motivated me to continue studying linguistics! Now I teach my students pronunciation throughout beginning level courses, and I am (slowly…very slowly) making these YouTube videos for students to keep practicing at home.
What are your thoughts on teaching pronunciation? How important is it for Spanish language-learners, and when/how should it be taught? I´d love to read your ideas in the comments!