August 2, 2019
Audrey Yates Irias

My aunt lived in Puerto Rico when I was growing up. She introduced the Spanish music and language to me from a young age. I remember waking up to Juan Luis Guerra’s Bachata Rosa CD on Saturday mornings, dancing along with my family. (It was my mother’s clever way to get us kids to clean!) I memorized his songs by heart, so I thought.

In high school, I was excited when my Spanish 2 teacher played one of his songs in a cloze activity (shout out to Mrs. Elizabeth Weber!). It was a cathartic experience for me—I got to read along with my favorite song! It turns out, I had memorized the songs the way they sounded to me. The actual words that Guerra sang were quite different from what I sang! While I was a native English speaker, what little Spanish I knew at the time, I recalled in the way of how I learned it orally.

Fast forward a few years, I enjoyed integrating both music as well as a variety of types of listening activities, with people of different dialects. It not only allowed students a chance to recognize what we had been talking about in class, but I also noticed they relaxed more, asked more questions, and wanted that type of activity more and more. It instigated great dialogues about cultural differences!

María Aldana, a fantastic Spanish teacher, collected a variety of audio resources and created activities to accompany them—perfect for Spanish 1.

Here is a free excerpt of one of her resources, including audio from a website included on the PDF, and accompanying activities and answers. If you like it, please check out the full book, 1B5963 Cómo enseñar para una mejor comprensión auditiva.

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If you enjoy this sample, you can get the entire collection Cómo enseñar para una mejor comprensión auditiva at Teacher’s Discovery!

PS: If you are still wondering, despite the fact that I am fluent in Spanish, I still sing many of Guerra’s songs from that CD wrong, if I am not thinking about it! (Great CD, by the way!)

Audrey Yates Irias started learning Spanish at age 10 in a FLEX program in her elementary school, because her aunt lived in Puerto Rico. She was so enamored with learning languages that she dove in head first, and took multiple years of French and Spanish in high school. Following her passion, she was a double major in Spanish and French Education and a TESOL minor, at Illinois State University—during which time she studied in Spain and France. She taught for 11 years in both traditional as well as virtual classrooms. In 2016, she earned her master’s in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Illinois.

Audrey enjoys spending time with her daughter, dancing, teaching students one-on-one, and developing curriculum that benefits students and teachers of World Languages.

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