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November: A sample of the activities from our latest icebreaker about bullfighting: "Los toros II: Los personages".
Posted by Alvaro
We’d like to wish everybody a wonderful Christmas and good luck with the last classes of this 2013. We think Christmas is a great topic for the foreign language class, and that’s why we have two different icebreakers about this topic:
- ¡Feliz Navidad! covers the most important topics of Christmas in Spain: from the Christmas lottery (22 December) to the Three Wise Men (6 January), including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, “El Día de los Inocentes” (the Spanish version of Fool’s Day), New Year’s Eve and Day, and Christmas songs and food. It’s appropriate for both beginners and intermediate students, and you can preview its video in the icebreaker section. The ¡Feliz Navidad! package also includes 8 audio files and a 21-page PDF booklet that you can also preview here:
- Navidad y Deporte is a 9-minute video about Christmas day, and also about one of the most original events that happen in Spain on 25 December: “La Carrera del Pavo”. This race has been celebrated in the town of Segovia for more than 60 years, and it has become very famous in the whole country.
The activities that accompany the video are divided in two parts: ¿Qué haces el día de Navidad? and La Carrera del Pavo. The video contains several interviews that might be difficult to understand for beginner and even intermediate students. For that reason, we have designed many activities where the key vocabulary is presented in context, so students are able to understand the video and get the most out of it. You can preview these exercises in the following document, which also contains the transcripts and answer key included in the Navidad and Deporte package:
Once again… ¡Felices fiestas a todos!
Posted by Alvaro
Our first video about bullfighting -Los toros: ¿a favor o en contra?- focused on what happens outside the plaza: we interviewed people and associations that are in favor or against bullfighting, and we also presented objective data so your students know what the Spanish people think about this topic.
In “Los toros II: los personajes” we talk about what goes on in the plaza, and we introduce the different actors that take part in a bullfight, as well as the objects they use. Your students will learn words such as torero, banderillero, picador, capote, estoque or muleta.
It is very important that you preview the whole video before ordering it in order to decide whether it is appropriate for your students. This is a controversial topic and we’d like you to understand that our videos are used by teachers of different age groups, and also in different areas of the world. In this video, there are images of the bull at different stages of the bullfight, please watch them carefully to make sure your students will not consider them upsetting. In our opinion, many tourists make the mistake of buying tickets to see a bullfight without having a clear idea of what they’re about to see. Bullfights are not for everybody, and we think with videos like this one students can watch in a safe environment what goes on in the plaza, and decide whether it’s an event they’d like to see live.
Apart from the controversy, we believe that this is an important topic because there are many Spanish expressions that come from bullfighting. In the activities included in the icebreaker we cover some of them, such as the use of the verb “torear” outside the plaza, and expressions like “hasta la bandera”, “no hay quinto malo” or “echar un capote.”
Posted by Alvaro
“Los toros: ¿a favor o en contra?” is our first video about one of the most famous Spanish traditions: bullfighting. Our goal is not to talk about what happens in the “plaza,” but about what happens outside. How many people actually follow bullfights and why do they like them? What’s their profile? And why are some people and associations trying to ban bullfighting, sometimes successfully like in Catalunya (Spain) or Sonora (Mexico)?
When we wrote, filmed and edited the video we tried not to take any side, but we were really interested in giving some objective facts so your students understand that bullfighting is not a national event. Only a minority of our society like it, most people are against it; but, on the other hand, more than half of the Spanish population does not want to ban bullfighting.
We also wanted to hear the reasons of those who are in favor and against, hoping that the debate will continue in your classes. Your students will learn useful vocabulary such as arte, dolor, maltrato animal, muerte, prohibir, toro bravo and tradición, and interesting ideas to support their opinions.
We’d like to make clear that this video is appropriate for all audiences since there are no images of the bull being hurt in any way. As far as the grammar and vocabulary, there are many testimonies that will be difficult to understand, so we think this video will work better in advanced groups, although the optional subtitles and the activities included in the icebreaker might let pre-intermediate students understand its gist. Please remember that you can preview the video in low resolution in the icebreaker section.
Finally, we hope this video contributes to break some stereotypes, and also that it is the starting point of a great debate in the Spanish class.
Posted by Alvaro under: News
In “De Ciudad de México a Madrid” we go for a walk with Cedina, a girl from Ciudad de México who currently lives in Madrid. This is the first video of our Cultural Corner, a section whose objective is to feature people from each of the 21 Spanish speaking countries in a different city in Spain. “De Ciudad de México a Madrid” is organized in three parts:
- An 8-page PDF document -you can also see it below- that will prepare your students to watch the video. The first activities are an introduction to Madrid and Ciudad de México, including basic facts and celebrities from both cities. The next pages focus on the Day of the Dead, starting with the key vocabulary (calavera, símbolos religiosos, cementerio, tumba, etc.) and a short explanation about the most important information that your students will hear in the video. Finally, there are two activities the students will complete while watching the video: they’ll help them to understand it (for example, with a cloze activity) and to check whether they got the gist of the video. The PDF also includes 4 listening exercices (3 with Cedina’s accent, and one with mine -from Madrid-, so your students will see the difference).
- A 9-minute video with optional subtitles in Spanish. Laura meets Cedina in Madrid’s La Puerta del Sol at the beginning of December, and walks with her to the Plaza Mayor, where Cedina talks about the Mexican Celebration “The Day of the Dead”. She also explains and shows how to build and altar, and teaches us when Mexicans build them and what for. You can see a 2-minute extract of the video in our Cultural Corner.
We hope you don’t stop the lesson there, and we encourage you to continue it by organizing your students in groups that will have to build their own altars in class. They’ll have to organize themselves to take all the materials needed to class (following Cedina’s example), and another day they’ll build it and explain it in Spanish. For example, they’ll say what food they’ve brought or what pictures or toys.If you’d like to have more information about this section, please read our post about the Cultural Corner project. And remember that suggestions and comments are always welcome, so please use our Contact Form