High frequency language

The attached documents highlight the core language students need to know in order to function well when producing Spanish independently. I think there is work to be done to adapt some of the attached documents to the requirements of Higher Level GCSE – I made them last year with lower sets in mind. This will be a task for me in the coming weeks.

The attached documents are just ideas. The key thing for me is continually revisiting the language in lessons especially expressions which continually trip up students such as “tampoco”, question words and expressions such as “acabar de”.

RESOURCEScompulsory language SPANISH past paper questions TRANSLATION into Spanish FOUNDATION compulsory language SPANISH answers compulsory language SPANISH blank compulsory language SPANISH connectives worksheet compulsory language SPANISH essential verbs crossword compulsory language SPANISH paritally completed compulsory language SPANISH past paper questions TRANSLATION FOUNDATION compulsory language SPANISH past paper questions TRANSLATION HIGHER

Translation formats

I’m posting a few documents I use regularly for translation (into and from Spanish). The formats can be used for all translation tasks – I just change the text. For the “select the best translation” task, a bit more work is required. The assessment criteria are those used by AQA.


RESOURCES: Higher Translation from Spanish to English FIESTA and English to Spanish TRANSLATION GCSE into ENGLISH foundation BEST FRIENDS TRANSLATION GCSE into SPANISH foundation SCHOOL NOW + IN THE PAST Foundation Translation from Spanish to English TIEMPO LIBRE and English to Spanish

La Voz Colombia

The resources attached are for a higher ability Year 11 GCSE group on the topic of free time, but more specifically on discussing music. The aim is to get the students to give interesting responses to questions about their musical tastes – ones which would score well at Higher Level in the GCSE speaking exam.

There is a video embedded into the PowerPoint which is a brief edit of an interview with a contestant from The Voice in Colombia. The reading comprehension interview with the contestant is made up, but hopefully carries on in the vein of what the singer was saying on the video. All should make sense when you look at the resources, however the first slides aim to build up vocabulary and useful phrases. With slide 8 students discuss each statement giving a personal response using some of the language presented. This then all builds to the comprehension activities. Finally the students prepare their own answers to the last two questions using the language presented and taking David’s responses as examples of good extended answers.

RESOURCES: PowerPoint: Una entrevista con David   Worksheet: ENTREVISTA CON DAVID La Voz Colombia

GCSE role plays + photo cards (AQA)

The attached resource is nothing great and there will be much better versions out there, but I’m sharing in case it is of use to someone. I have two bottom sets for GCSE Spanish and trying to get them all ready for the heavy demands of the new GCSE speaking exam is daunting. I have a number of SEN students who are finding the work challenging. At my school we follow AQA and the attached booklet is one I will be using from March when I will have covered everything topic-wise. From that point I will be concentrating on final preparation for the oral exam as well as exam technique + general revision.

We are  using Rachel Hawkes‘ approach to vocabulary acquisition which she terms as ‘non-negotiables’. We are using the term ‘compulsory language’. I start most lessons running through key bits of language (much of which is essential for students to construct language independently). I have attached some PowerPoint slides as an example. As dull as it is, we just work through the slides and they all tell me the meanings. We have mini-tests as well to make sure they are getting to grips with all the terms. The attached PowerPoint is a collection of many of the slides. They aren’t all used together but are dropped into lessons as appropriate.



De compras

Hardly my favourite topic to teach, but this lesson re: opinions on different ways of buying things worked. I’ll explain how I used the attached PowerPoint bit by bit.

  1. The PowerPoint begins with a starter using the Mi Gente song. I just wanted to make sure they know the word “gente” and hoped Beyoncé would be better at getting them to remember this than me.
  2. The photo of El Corte Inglés is part of my routine to get them to describe pictures.
  3. They know PUEDO, so I’m introducing SUELO. I’m making sure they know the main high frequency verbs like QUIERO, PUEDO, DEBO, DOY, etc. They saw SUELO last lesson, so is a recap.
  4. Question slide – ¿Dónde sueles comprar? + ¿Por qué? We worked through this bit by bit to make sure they understood everything.
  5. I then read out three sentences in English which they had to translate into Spanish using the previous slide e.g. I usually shop on the internet because there are more discounts.
  6. We then went through all the reasons why you might shop in a department store or online + decided which they best described.
  7. Worksheet. Match the Spanish to the English + then translation of the phrases.
  8. Reading worksheet. There are three versions of this as my bottom set group is really mixed in terms of ability.
  9. Written task. Styled along the lines of the AQA Foundation Paper 90 word task which my group is getting used to.
  10. Past paper reading exam question. I used the slide to explain the issue of whether online shopping is harming the high street + then they did the reading task.

The homework task is a translation based on language from this and previous lessons. I’ve been teaching them “Diría que” as an alternative to “Creo que ../ Pienso que …”.


GCSE speaking exam – PHOTO CARDS

A quick post to share a PowerPoint. Each slide shows a photo taken from a mixture of exam boards which has been used for the photo card description. I teach bottom sets at the moment for GCSE and I am using the WWWD technique where they describe who, where and what they see + add a description either of a person or the weather. They seem to have found this technique a bit easier to cope with than others I have tried. I have dropped each of the slides into the PowerPoint for their relevant topics so that we constantly practise the technique throughout the course. The PowerPoint below is a compilation of everything I have put together so far. My approach is to show the picture and then run through the WWWD technique with the group to see what they come up with. I have been drilling key high frequency terms such as “hay”, “tiene(n)” etc. which you can see in my examples. My groups do find this activity difficult so the language I have used is fairly simple.


Problemas sociales y globales

acoso escolarWith my mind on preparation for the forthcoming GCSE exams I have made some resources on the topic of social issues with a focus on using various techniques to work out meanings. I am really pushing my Year 11 group (C/D borderline) to get on with revision and to learn vocabulary now that we have  more or less finished the controlled assessment side of things. My aim is to get them to see that there are key words that simply have to be learnt and now is the time to do it. Let’s see what happens.


Vacaciones en Bilbao

Logo%20Ayuntamiento%20de%20BilbaoThis post is really an update of some resources I posted a while ago. I have a lower ability Year 11 group and we are on the topic of holidays. In getting them to write about what they did on holiday I am encouraging them to give full details e.g. if they say they went to Oxford Street, they have to explain what this is as it may not be obvious to someone who is not from London. In my examples I have focused on Bilbao as it is a place I am very fond of + I think that it helps students to hear about different places.

I have included two PowerPoints as I thought it might be worth sharing the materials which help to build up to this point. I have had to delete quite a few things due to copyright, so the resources are slightly disjointed in places. It’s not amazing stuff, but it may be useful to someone.


POWERPOINTS: Las vacaciones ACTIVITIES FOUNDATION 1 Las vacaciones ACTIVITIES FOUNDATION 2 WORKSHEETS:  Barcelona READING CARD ACTIVITY CROSSWORD I did We did FILL THE GAPS SHEET from the PPT slide HOMEWORK translation Ordinal numbers in Spanish Past tense verbs Presente o pasado VERSION WITH SUPPORT Qué tal las vacaciones Reading ENTREVISTAS narration FOUNDATION READING Las vacaciones de los españoles TIME MARKERS crossword

Descriptions (Physical)

PDI ChileAfter a bit of a break (focusing on school things like Ofsted!) I’m hopefully back to posting a bit more regularly.

I am posting resources that I am trying to develop to teach physical descriptions to an able Year 10 group. I am still working on the PowerPoint – I am attaching the current version which I will improve over the coming weeks. The main focus of this post is to share the two reading activities. One is based on descriptions of two people who have disappeared (taken from a Chilean website – www.pdichile.cl) and the second is based on an old TV series from Spain, Física o Química. One day I will have to update this to a programme that is more current. If anyone has any ideas, I’d be most grateful.

As this is all language that we have covered at KS3, it is a challenge to move through it all making sure that anyone who has forgotten it all can catch up whilst ensuring that those who feel confident with it all don’t get bored. Well, my attempts so far are attached.