Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Interview from Pamplona: School in Pamplona and the Running of the Bulls!


                                                        Teaching culture and controversy 

While teaching a group of illustrious 7th graders a few years back, I had a goal of getting them to engage in discourse about real world topics and events.  During this time, the wealth of resources for input, project-based and design thinking in the WL were very scarce (or I just did not know). Like most problem-solving oriented teachers: I created texts and resources for my students so that they could tomar cartas en el asunto.   I was determined to have them chime in on the  controversy of Bullfighting in Spain and the plight of girl's education around the world.  even with limited vocabulary. It was awesome!

Creating shared background knowledge 

Teaching with any group of students means that their exposure to a topic varies greatly. In order to tap into background knowledge and create our own working template of experiences, my students conducted a scavenger hunt on Spain, read about the country and regions and engaged in other activities that contextualized the vocabulary and culture. Having students who have traveled the world and those who have not step foot outside of their neighbors, having an "equalizing" exposure to texts adds balance. We used this resource, which includes:

1. Internet Scavenger Hunt Activity to familiarize them with the people, places and culture 
2. KWL activity to assess pre-knowledge 
3. Read a basic cognate laden text on Spain and answer questions. 

These sequenced activities set students up for reading about the Running of the Bulls- and their upcoming debate. For the debate they had to read both sides of the argument in this text and figure out, based on the language, attitude and claim who was for and who was against the practice. The first iteration of this article was all in the present tense. I have revised it to fit more of an Novice-Mid-High / Intermediate low. That said text below is slighter higher than the one figured in MaryGlasgow in 2011.


 The purpose of his resource was to engage students in both Common Core and IB standards/strands, so they would use the same strategies for engaging in text. This activity allowed students to:

Link to resource




  • Compare different perspectives (ACTFL: 21st century standards) 
  • Cite textual information (in a basic non-intimidating form) 
  • Compare and contrast cultures
  • For me, to be able to collect ideas, process them and debate in the target language
At my previous school they had PYP Spanish from Kindergarten. I saw them 4 days a week, so it makes since that a 7th grader was able to read and debate a slightly softer version of this text.  If you'd like to see how they slammed the International Educational Unit. They wrote papers on women rights. This was my "Malala Unit."  Check out this post with examples of student writing. 

Added Listening Activity for Running of the Bulls 
    This year I had the opportunity to interview a girl from Pamplona. I included this interview and  activity as part the Bullfighting debate activity.  Listen here for her Los Jóvenes Opinan interview below:

Interview with Ainhoa


The good, the bad and the ugly 

The interview is long- 4 minutes, but the activities are divided into different sections. Only the first 1.5 minutes  is comprehensible input for Novice students, after that her pace picks up. Here is how I am planning on using this resource:



  • My Spanish 1 Novice students will be doing this All about me activity next week (we are three weeks overdue). The will read the interview about Ainhoa and then listen to the first couple of minutes of the audio. 

Interview with Ainhoa

For my Spanish IV class, we are finishing up our Spanish Teen Unit. See previous post for lesson and resources. Since Ainhoa is soooo passionate about the Running of the Bulls (she was a perfect complement to the debate article), they will listen to her and compare their lives to hers. Here are a list of the themes for the audio:

  • Introductions 
  • Favorite TV shows 
  • School in Spain 
  • Teens in Pamplona 
  • Running of the Bulls 



Click here for the preview questions.
 Listen to the first edition of Los Jóvenes Opinan here to  make sure it is suitable for your students.

Upcoming resource!
I also had the opportunity to interview an award-winning photojournalist from Colombia this summer. The interview, which goes from Novice to Advanced will be posted in October.





If you use this resource, feedback is welcomed!!

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