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Sonrisas Spanish Best Practice: Use Repetitive Language

In our last post we wrote about the importance of establishing a consistent routine for your Spanish class. Once you have done that, you can then being to use repetitive language within your routine.

Identify When to Use Repetitive Language

If you have an established routine in your class, your students can easily achieve proficiency with repetitive language because it is given meaning by the context of the routine. First, identify tasks that you do in each class like your transitions from the different segments of the lesson or your classroom management routines. Then target these tasks for the use of repetitive language. Essentially, you make it easier for yourself and your students to use Spanish consistently by using it for regular classroom tasks.

For example: If you close the door each session after greeting your students, you can begin to have one of your students do it by saying, “Juan, cierra la puerta por favor.” This can become part of your routine, and you can have a different student do it each class. You might introduce Roll Call each class by saying, “Vamos a ver quién está aquí.” As you get ready for Art Time each class, you might assign a helper by asking, “¿Quién quiere repartir las tijeras, el papel, etc.?

Students Learn Grammar Concepts

In Sonrisas Level I and Level II the lessons do not include any explicit grammar instruction, but students gain an inherent understanding of many grammatical concepts. One of the ways they do this is through the use of repetitive language in the classroom. In the examples used above, respectively, students learn affirmative commands, the construction of the verb IR + an infinitive, and the interrogative word quién. When students use repetitive phrases like these in every class, they develop a deep understanding of the grammar concepts that are communicated, even without formal instruction in the concepts.

Many teachers will naturally establish repetitive phrases that they use in every class, but it is worth it to reflect on your routine and identify where you can utilize repetitive language. Many opportunities exist, especially once you have a consistent class routine. Repetitive phrases become foundational language that furthers students’ understanding and communication. Once students achieve proficiency with this language, it becomes easier for them to apply it in new contexts.

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