Friday, August 24, 2012


Foreign Language teachers are always looking for relevant materials in the target language to share with their students, and as Spanish teachers in the U.S. we have so much at our disposal!!  As many of you probably know, Spanish is the second most used language in our country and there are countless materials out there in Spanish for the Spanish-speaking American public.  Besides radio and tv channels in Spanish, there are also national publications of magazines and newspapers along with local newspapers.  People Magazine ( has a Spanish publication that only costs $20 for a two year subscription!  That is a fabulous deal for 22 issues of Spanish articles and advertisements about hot topic issues and current stars that our students are already talking about.  People en Español and Vanidades ( are also available at my local Walmart and Target stores because I live near a large Spanish speaking population. There are many other magazines available too, these are just the two I'm using right now - though I have to look into finding something more targeted towards the boys in my classes, like a sports magazine.

These magazines have wonderful full page ads in Spanish that I cut out and lament to use with my lower level Spanish students.  I hand out the ads to the students and ask them to fill out a questionnaire about the ad.  I include questions like "What is this ad for?"  "What type of product is it?" "Where can you get the product?" "Who would buy this product?" etc.  Depending on the level of the class, the questions can be asked in English or in Spanish.  Also, if the ads we use are harder for them to understand, I let them work with a partner or in small groups.  For my more advanced students, I do the same, but with short articles.  Sometimes the variety of articles we use makes it hard to have a universal questionnaire, so I ask them to write a summary of the article in Spanish and present it to the class (or to a small group if we are short on time - Jigsaw style). 

I don't let the rest of the magazine go to waste either!  I save the leftover magazines after I've cut things out to use in class posters or other crafty projects.  The students use the old magazines I have to illustrate cartoon strips they make or to illustrate any other visual project I ask them to make.  For instance, they can cut out two people talking and invent a dialogue between them focusing on the grammar point we are studying at the time, or they can cut out the face of someone and label the parts of the body (eye, ear, nose).  Any time I ask them to draw something, I give them the option of cutting it out if they don't want to draw.  That way, even the least artistic student can make something they don't mind sharing with his or her peers. 

~ La profesora

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