La Chica Nueva: Short story for Spanish class levels 3-5
I want my students to read, be intrigued, acquire vocabulary in new ways and conceptually understand the interplay grammatical structures- all while having fun! I love it when their eyes roll across the pages and a smile slowly cracks across their faces, their eyes light up and it's obvious; they are caught up in the gravitational pull of a good novel or story. I was attempting to recreate those moments with La Nueva Alumna.
This short story started out essentially as a review piece. My plan was for students to review structures and vocabulary prior to a writing assessment. But then, I soon realized that students really liked the story (this happened with a few other stories), so the original one-page review activity blossomed to a short story about one of the characters in El Internado.
Although La Nueva Alumna is loosely based on one of the characters of the Internado series (which is available on Netflix), rest assured that your students don't have to be familiar with the series to understand the storyline (See the synopsis below).
However, on the flipside, if your students are engrossed in the drama of El Internado, then this story will be perfect for them (after episode 5) for a number of reasons:
- It houses many of the expressions used in the series, along with some common ones used in everyday language.
- The text gives ample opportunity to practice core structures such as the preterit, imperfect, subjunctive and conditional (more subjunctive than anything, that was our target structure).
- It sheds light on Vicky's socio-economic status and leaving her other friends behind (little back story)
- Touches on her being colada y enamorada hasta las trancas de Iván (pobrecita, ¿verdad?)
- Contains dialogue that approximates native speakers' vernacular and idiosyncrasies (my students love dialogue) and it's not overbearing. In fact, many words and expressions are detailed in the footnotes.
We were just about the review our target structures prior to an extended response writing assessment. Instead of the regular grammar review, which is sometimes the necessary evil, I created this story to include the structures, the idioms and the backstory of one of the characters in our beloved series: El Internado.
Once I witnessed how students reacted with reading some of the other dialogues in stories in the class, I couldn't resist.We've done similar activities in the past, but not his in-depth. If you are an Internadista, Click here for more Episode 4 Internado summary dialogue. If you are more of a watch and creative writing type, there is something for you, click here. If your class loves to debate, you have to click here for the Amelia and Elsa faceoff (both resources are free). If you are looking other interesting compelling reading drenched with drama and laced with your favorite-no-matter-how-much-I-teach-they-still-don't-get-it structures(kinda long, I know), then click here for the well-reviewed series: Skeletons in the closet (El muerto en el armario). Now that we got all of that out of the way, shall we dive into our short story?
La Nueva Alumna is a fictionalized account of Vicky’s journey to the prestigious boarding school: El Internado. It gives a bit of a back story highlighting her working class roots, and her major crush on Iván, another pivotal character from the series. This story was originally written as a cloze-text practice of language structures such as the present and past subjunctive and the preterite and imperfect. Said formative assessment was administered to students after viewing episode 5 of El Internado, when it became clear that Vicky was colada con Iván. The story presents a mix of narration and dialogue, which could be easily acted out in class or in groups!
La Nueva Alumna has five short sections:
1. La hija de la frutera
2. La gran noticia
3. El primer día
4. Cómo salir de la zona de amigos
5. La chica de mis sueños
This story packet has the following activities and resources
- Short Story: La Nueva Alumna
- Unfamiliar vocabulary is footnoted in the text.
- Pre-reading vocabulary and Spanish Idiom activity (some expressions are used in the series El Internado and other are common expressions).
- Comprehension questions
- Pre-reading grammar subjunctive activity
- Cloze-text fill in the blank abridged version of the story to practice the subjunctive (mood), preterit and imperfect tenses.