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How To Make Spanish More Engaging for Uninterested Students

How To Make Spanish More Engaging for Uninterested Students

When you put immense effort and passion into a Spanish lesson, it can be heartbreaking when students seem bored or otherwise uninterested in the subject. Thankfully, Spanish teachers can easily regain the classroom’s focus with a few helpful tactics. So, keep reading to learn how to make Spanish more engaging for uninterested students.

Keep Track of Questions

If students feel like their Spanish teacher is moving too fast through lessons or is neglecting to address key concerns, engaging them with the subject becomes more challenging. Instead of only monitoring student comprehension through tests and quizzes, check in on them each day in class.

For example, after thoroughly explaining a new vocabulary word or key phrase, ask students to raise their hands if they have questions. If no one raises their hand, that’s great. However, anyone who raises their hand should receive an answer. This will help the student asking the question and students who are too nervous to ask it themselves. Likewise, if a student thinks they understand a concept but doesn’t, answering questions from other students can clear up the confusion.

Create an Inviting Learning Space

Teachers figuring out how to make Spanish more engaging for uninterested students should think about the atmosphere they create during class. So, how exactly do you create the perfect classroom atmosphere? If you’re answering questions carefully and consistently, that’s a good start. Furthermore, you should focus on making the learning space encouraging.

When students fail to grasp certain concepts, don’t look down on them. Instead, tell students to ask all the questions they want, if they’re about the lesson, of course. Additionally, remind students why learning Spanish is fun. To do this, consistently weave Spanish culture into every lesson. For example, when you’re teaching students how to say food items in Spanish, explain how to make these foods, using vibrant imagery along the way. In other words, remind students that Spanish is more than a subject they have to pass in middle school; it’s a whole culture full of amazing history worth discovering.

Regularly Use TPR Storytelling

Teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling (TPRS or TPR Storytelling) begins with Spanish teachers introducing new words to the students. During the introduction, clearly write and explain the keywords. Then, implement Total Physical Response (TPR,) which involves the students taking those keywords and creating physical gestures that represent each one. Eventually, this culminates in the students creating a story involving each word and then silently reading materials relevant to the lesson, whether a book of your choosing or one you approve.

The middle school Spanish curriculum we provide teachers features opportunities for TPR Storytelling, and there’s a key reason for this. Through TPR Storytelling, you and the class create a story relating to the day’s lesson. More accurately, you create the story frame and periodically choose students to fill in the blanks. In doing so, you push the students to put the lesson into action, but in a way that feels fun instead of forceful.

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