Grandfather, Victor Rodriguez, teaches Spanish online to his grandchildren using Spanish for You! COVID changed schooling for his grandchildren this year. And so, his two sons, who live in different towns, asked him to teach a Spanish course to the kids via the internet. Not only would teaching the course allow the kids to learn Spanish, but it would also be a way for them to see each other during this time of social distancing.
When Victor told me about what he was doing and began sharing some of his Spanish online class experiences, I asked if he might like to write a guest blog post on Spanish for You! I thought it would provide others with ideas on how they can share their gift of language by doing Spanish online with family and/or friends, and connect in this enriching way during this time of social distancing. Here is the post he wrote:
Fun Learning Spanish During Social Isolation!
by Victor Rodriguez, Grandfather of 4 Lucky Kids!
“El pavo y yo estamos en la chimenea.” Did you say, “The turkey and I are in the fireplace?” Yes, indeed! This is one of the fun sentences heard in our Round Robin Spanish Thanksgiving sentence game. COVID changed schooling for my grandchildren this year. One grandson is in 8th grade, two are in 7th, and a granddaughter is in 5th grade. Their parents asked me to teach a Spanish course for the kids via the internet. I learned Spanish growing up and in school, and being recently retired, I said yes.
I Chose Spanish for You! and Organized Our Spanish Online Class
I searched for Spanish teaching curriculum material and chose the Spanish For You! curriculum and their Mi Vida themed package for our year-long study. I like the scope of the material, the simple format, the audio of all the content, and the affordability. I selected the Mi Vida themed package for its emphasis on the home setting. The students start using the language in their everyday life from day one. My tech savvy sons settled on Google Meet for our meeting platform. Our class is Monday from 3:00 – 3:50pm to accommodate the kids’ regular school classes and studies. I planned an annual calendar, and we began in late September.
Kids Converse with Their Spanish-Speaking Great Grandfather
Finishing the first Spanish online lesson in October, the grandkids’ “bisabuelo” (great-grandfather), a native Spanish speaker, joined us for a class session to converse in Spanish. I coached him on the Spanish vocabulary the kids had studied. This included vocabulary from the fun, Spanish for You! Halloween Lesson.
Each student had prepared an introduction of themselves in Spanish as well as a question. The kids did great! They asked questions like: What is your favorite book or verse? What is your favorite food? And the hit question was, “¿Tienes una mascota?” (Do you have a pet?) To which their great-grandfather raised up to the screen his little dog, “Poochie”. The kids knew this conversational session was a great way to put together all their Spanish learning. Here they were, speaking Spanish with a relative! Their 90-year-old great-grandfather, who lives in another state, remarked on how well they did with the level of Spanish they had learned.
Spanish Thanksgiving Content Added In
In November we added the Spanish for You! Thanksgiving Lesson vocabulary to our study of Mi vida Lesson 2. We used the Round Robin sentence game to close out our fall class sessions. The kids enjoyed making up Spanish sentences using the Thanksgiving vocabulary, and then calling on another student to change the sentence noun or verb. We did one round using the “I” verb form then another round using the “we” verb form. That’s how we got to the sentence about “The turkey and I are in the fireplace.”
Spanish Christmastime Learning
At the end of our fall classes, we took a Thanksgiving week break. Upon returning, we played Loteria (Bingo) COVID edition, learning some Spanish words relevant to our “pandemic” times. It was a nice warm-up back into Spanish learning. We enjoyed Loteria and planned to play it again after the New Year.
In December we changed things up with a three-week Spanish Christmas unit using the Spanish for You! 10-Day Christmas Lesson. I was impressed with the Spanish Christmas vocabulary and verbs we learned, and the Christmas games we played. The kids could speak Spanish Christmas phrases every day in December! For class I donned a Yoda Santa Cap and festively decorated my “studio” area. The students wrote a Spanish story about Christmas things they enjoy. They read these stories to their “bisabuelo” in our last December session. We took a well-deserved break and planned to meet again in January.
As a grandfather I’m seeing my grandchildren enjoy learning and using Spanish right now. I am overjoyed with the bonus of having a weekly video visit with them. My wife and a son have even joined the class, and it gives us an extra thing to share as we live through this COVID time.