I lived in South America for five years. I have taught Spanish One for the past 20++ years and, sadly, I have heard more “sabo” and “me llamo es”- to the point I had stopped wincing.
I follow the usual advice: fall in love with a Telenovela and watch it with Spanish subtitles, go to a Spanish-speaking church, listen to Spanish stories while driving, volunteer, etc.
The fly in the ointment is that I need classroom Spanish – which I don’t use in other situations. I found THE solution that has improved my skills and my confidence: I drench my students with Spanish transition videos. I use a remote presentation device and insert the videos into a daily ppt that has a slide for each class activity. Sample lesson videos here.
There are over 100 transition videos, and using 20 of them a day in my class saves my voice. Some are part of our daily routines with different ones for that day’s activities. The accent and pronunciation of the native speaker singing falls out of my mouth. People stopped asking me if I were from Brazil (Portuguese is my second language) and two actually asked if I am from Venezuela!
It also gave me confidence to speak to native-speaker parents without fear. I just heard so much Spanish all day long even though it was Spanish 01 – meaning not even a full year of Spanish – just a year-long class to teach half of Spanish 1.
My colleagues and administrators noticed my new confidence and skills and although my specialty is wide-abilities students in Spanish One, a new administrator observed my class, was blown away with our 90% TL Spanish, and gave me the honors class for the next level.
Here is a link to the basics. Below is a partial list. You can also use musical survival vocabulary to drench your students with teacher -to-student commands, student-to-teacher commands and the often overlooked student-to-student commands. Scroll down for an assortment of videos. Click for my free explanation videos.
Here is a partial list to give you an idea of the topics.
All proceeds from the sale of these videos benefit three Venezuelan families. You can purchase them individually, create your own bundle of 20 or more for a discount, or purchase the growing bundle – you buy them all and receive future ones for free. Every year I add at least 10 of them. Your school can pay for them through TpT for Schools.