Projects, or “proyectos,” are an integral part of Spanish Class, and a hallmark of any Spanish learning experience. Since I started Spanish in fifth grade I’ve done a countless number of them, so when Señora Mitchell announced our “Las Noticias Project” I was unsurprised. For this one, we would spend two weeks brainstorming, stressing, and creating our very own newscast all about Lovett…in Spanish, of course.
Señora Mitchell summarized the project this way: “It is a newscast where students have to have different sections about Lovett; what is trending at Lovett, what’s happening in sports, and the weather.” Essentially, we all put together a short newscast about our school, which is relevant to us because our current vocabulary in Spanish is “Los Medios de Comunicación” or Modes of Communication. Our newscast included many words from the unit, in fact we were required to put in at least ten per section.
Señora Mitchell wants her students to “practice their real-world work, working as an expert in the field because they can apply their vocabulary and you know the authenticity is very important and is meaningful for the students because they are applying all of the vocabulary.”
And it really was cool to be able to make a newscast a lot like one you might make in the real world, using the vocabulary we had learned right there in class. It was an opportunity to see how our Spanish skills could be applied in a wider setting.
It was even a great opportunity for those who were interviewed. Christine Lee, a tenth grader who I interviewed for the project due to her involvement in the Signature, corroborated saying, “I learned some new vocab terms because I wanted to say something, I wanted to say certain words in Spanish so I looked it up”. Basically, everyone benefited from the project.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t yet spread to other Spanish classes, though she started doing it three years ago. “Right now it is only my Spanish Three Honors Class doing it,” Senora Mitchell explained, “but soon my Spanish Three Class will do it as well.”
We started by planning an entire newscast, then we made a script (making sure to add in the subjunctive, indirect/direct/double object pronouns, commands, and our vocabulary), set up interviews, conducted interviews, put together a video, edited it, and finally presented it. While it was time-consuming, it was actually really fun and a nice break from the monotony of Spanish vocabulary, grammar, and more.
In the end, we had a video with two sections and four interviews, covering multiple sport teams, the play, and the Signature. We even put in a commercial (all in Spanish) for the cafe, specifically promoting their cookies, pizzas, and bagels, three of the best foods there.
Señora Mitchell said she’s seen a lot of great projects over the years. “I am expecting this year to be the best because it is my honors class,” she said. I have to say that comment scared me a little, the pressure was certainly on.
Overall, we learned a lot, had fun, and got a great new experience. Hopefully, other Spanish teachers could implement a project like this in their own classes.
“They help the students understand how to use the vocabulary in the authentic and real world,” Senora Mitchell said.