PROVIDE YOUR STUDENTS WITH TARGETED, DIFFERENTIATED PRACTICE IN THE FORM OF TEACHER-FRIENDLY, SELF-CHECKING INTERACTIVE EXERCISES
What better than a set of 10 comprehensive self-correcting exercises to help students get a solid foundation in Spanish verbs that function like gustar? These are the verbs that can seem "backwards" to English students when it comes to subject and object roles in the sentence, and in my experience, most textbooks don't even come close to giving students enough examples and practice for these "backwards" verbs.
A WIDE VARIETY OF VERBS BUILD BOTH INTEREST AND MASTERY
The verbs heavily stressed in this set aren't just gustar and encantar, which is as far as many textbooks get. Instead, have your students practice Spanish as it is really used in dozens of nations around the world: with faltar, doler, parecer, caer bien/mal, dar asco, fascinar, interesar, molestar, quedar, and disgustar in addition to gustar and encantar!
Students will work with all of them from the start, though in the simpler exercises they will do several problems in a row with encantar, then several problems with faltar, etc. In the challenge exercises the verbs are delivered in random order.
HOW TO BUILD COMMUNICATION MASTERY
Let me share a few important thoughts with you. I taught Spanish for 12 years and developed an extensive Spanish-instruction website to help my students. My exercises really led to mastery -- and trust me, the ones in the textbooks generally didn't. Every single student I trained for the AP Spanish language exam passed it.
My secrets? My techniques?
#1 is that when students are practicing grammar, they should at the same time be acquiring the MEANING of the words they are using.
My exercises are designed to constantly reinforce the meaning of the target words, as well as use a range of natural vocabulary to assist with growing fluency. As students advance through a set of my exercises they will master increasing numbers of word meanings, and all the while, they have been acquiring the target conjugations as well.
#2 is practice, practice, practice -- and all of it targeted to the STUDENT's individual level. Whole class instruction is great for introducing a grammatical concept. But application and practice of that concept can lead to wasted time for students who acquire it quickly and are ready for something more advanced. Not with these exercises, though. Your whole class can be using these at once in a computer lab setting, and advanced students can be on exercise 9, full sentence translation, while those who need more reinforcement can be on exercises 1 and 2, still acquiring the meanings of the target infinitives in isolation.
The exercises are scaffolded to help students achieve mastery of each small thing before they move on to higher levels of usage and practice.
#3 is that the computer activity itself should TEACH as well as provide practice. That's why these exercises have hints, clues, and targeted feedback. For example, if a student provides an answer of "gustamos" in the sentence Nos --- los caballos, a pop up box will tell the student that Nos is receiving the action of pleasing, not DOING the pleasing, and they need to look for the thing that is pleasing us and match the verb form to that.
-----> Exercises are multiple choice to begin with. Higher levels will ask students to type in their answers. If students type wrong answers several times, the higher level exercise will revert to multiple choice in order to provide more assistance.
Seriously, these exercises TEACH. They don't just let students practice. They help those who are struggling as they practice.
All exercises are computer based and designed to run in any web browser. All you have to do (as explained in the included Read Me file) is unzip the zip file, then copy the unzipped exercise set to a computer's hard drive and double click on the START HERE file.
That's it! The START HERE file will load up the exercises "table of contents" in a web browser window, letting students start their practice at the right level for them!
To have your whole class use the exercises at once, load them onto your local area network.
This is the most powerful use of the exercises. Because they are self-checking and self-paced, students will be working at their target level even when those levels begin to diverge.
Please give my interactive exercises a try. In 12 years of teaching Spanish, every single student I had who attempted the AP Spanish Exam PASSED it -- and I'm talking about students who began as freshmen with 0% mastery, not ones who knew some Spanish from their culture or home lives.
I believe that my emphasis on mastery learning, integrating meanings with conjugations from the start, and lots and lots and LOTS of computer-based individualized practice is responsible for my strong AP record.
The preview file provides you with the table of contents and truncated versions of seven of the ten interactive exercises.
The full download will have all ten interactive exercises -- all of them focused on verbs like gustar.
EACH EXERCISE HAS 50 PROBLEMS in it. You are therefore purchasing hundreds and hundreds of practice problems to help students master verbs like gustar.
LOOKING FOR MORE SPANISH INTERACTIVE EXERCISES? THESE MIGHT BE JUST THE TICKET:
Spanish Self-Checking Interactive Exercises: -ar verbs, Present Tense
Spanish Self-Checking Interactive Exercises: -er verbs, Present Tense
Spanish Self-Checking Interactive Exercises: Spanish Synonyms, Level I
NOT AN INTERACTIVE, BUT COULD BE USEFUL IN CLASS...
If you show "Una pareja de idiotas," or Dumb and Dumber in class, you might like the following vocabulary sheet I developed for class use of the movie:
Spanish Vocabulary Worksheet for Dumb and Dumber / Una pareja de idiotas
Spanish Exercises by Elise Parker