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Recursos para docentes del castellano

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How are Spanish speaking countries doing in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi? Share some fun facts in the discussion question titled:  Please share an interesting Olympic fact about a foreign country.


It is fascinating to hear about countries who don't get snow sending athletes to the Winter Olympics. For example, Venezuela has an alpine skier named Antonio Pardo. Brazil maintains a strong presence at the Winter Olympics by sending 12 athletes this year. Check out this article titled: The 10 Hottest Countries At The Sochi Olympics Don't Even Get Cold.

Happy 2014 Spanish Teachers! I hope you all had a blessed holiday break and are inspired moving into 2014.


I wanted to be sure to tell you about this informative group that just started called Digital Citizenship. I have explored the resources and was fascinated by the research the group (Common Sense Media) has uncovered on the impact of mobile devices on our children. My son is quite keen to play his iPad and as a parent I want to stay informed about how the types of apps and the amount of time he spends on his iPad affects his development. Then my 14 year old is using Social Media sites so this group also provides tips on how to keep her safe. I highly recommend taking a look at this group!


Here is a description:


Digital Citizenship is a professional learning community (PLC) hosted by Common Sense Media, that provides ideas and discussions about how to help kids be safe, responsible, and respectful participants in our digital world. This community will help you stay connected, share ideas, and get support from colleagues on issues such as:

•             cyberbullying

•             privacy

•             digital footprints

•             copyright and plagiarism

•             information literacy

•             Internet safety

Access free webinars, discussion threads, curricula and other online learning resources from Common Sense Media to support teaching students how to participate respectfully and responsibly while harnessing the educational promise of our connected, digital world. Become part of the conversation today!

EDSITEment, http://edsitement.neh.gov/,  remains committed to share and bring teachers and students everywhere a wide variety of great resources. We are honored to bring to our supporters, followers, teachers, tutors, students, and life-long learners our bilingual resources on history and literature. This month, EDSITEment wants to share these valuable resources in literature, culture and history.


During the beginning of the 20th century, Mexico and Mexicans saw dramatic changes. The Mexican Revolution, the first modern revolution of the twentieth century, started on November 20th, 1910, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, with revolutionary troops led by Pancho Villa moving in the north of Mexico. In the south, troops led by Emiliano Zapata following the motto of the Zapatista Movement “Tierra y Libertad” (Land and Freedom) started to advance and fight for land.


The impacts of the Mexican Revolution were dramatic. During the armed struggle, both men and women were at the avant-garde of the movement. Those who did not want to fight, left the country by immigrating legally to the United States. The Mexican Revolution also enriched the culture of Mexico, including music, muralist painting, literature.


EDSITEment has a bilingual feature on the Mexican Revolution that teaches the historical background of the Mexican Revolution, as well as the cultural contributions resulting from this time period, via http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/mexican-revolution-november-20th-1910. For example, the muralist movement started as a result from the Mexican Revolution. It was a way to educate the people who could not read or write on their own history and heritage. Thus, masters like Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros came into the spotlight (http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-9-12/Five_Artists_of_the_Mexican_Revolution.aspx ). At the time of the armed struggle, there was no media or newspapers to effectively spread the news throughout the nation, plus the majority of Mexicans were illiterate. The stories and events put into music and song, known as corridos, was the way to record history during this time. Corridos documented battles, important leaders, great women warriors, key places. Students can study, listen and even sing along corridos via our resource: http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/mexican-revolution-november-20th-1910#04


When a large number of immigrants came into the United States from Mexico during and after the Mexican Revolution, it was during most challenging economic times. In the 30s, immigrants were coming to the country during the Great Depression. Most of them worked in the fields across the nation. One touching story is the novel by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising via http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/esperanza-rising-learning-not-be-afraid-start-over. In this EDSITEment-created lesson plan about the coming of age of a young Mexican girl who works in the fields in the United States, available in Spanish as well, who learns to not fear to start over again.


The lesson plan, http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/esperanza-rising-learning-not-be-afraid-start-over#sect-resources, includes an interactive launchpad (http://edsitement.neh.gov/student-resource/launchpad-esperanza-rising) for students to learn about the experiences of the protagonist.


This is October. The very end, indeed. Meaning we are close
to the American holiday, Halloween. It is an optimal opportunity to have
students learn what exactly are the origins of this tradition. This can seem as
though it might take some researching to find this information. However,
EDSITEment has a great feature prepared for teachers, parents and students to
help learn about the origins of Halloween via this great feature: http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/origins-halloween-and-day-dead.


This feature also highlights other resources from the Web to
help gather information and ideas on Halloween, the tradition and its origins.
Some resources are the following:


The EDSITEment lesson plan, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, at:
is a great resource, with activities to engage students. Another lesson plan


An unexpected explanation as to the origins of Halloween
maybe for students may be the fact that the celebration started in
pre-Christian Cerltic days. This website from the Library of Congress, The
Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows, at: http://www.loc.gov/folklife/halloween.html.
Students may wonder, or teachers might even!, how, or if, Halloween is
celebrated around the world. It actually is, and, indeed, we have a website on
that as well,  http://www.novareinna.com/festive/world.html.


Another celebration increasingly becoming very popular in
America as well is the Days of the Dead, or Día de los muertos. This
celebration has its roots in Pre-Columbian Mexico. The traditions of the Aztecs
(learn more about the Aztecs through these two lesson plans from EDSITEment,  The Aztecs — Mighty Warriors of Mexico (at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/aztecs-mdash-mighty-warriors-mexico)
and Aztecs Find a Home: The Eagle Has Landed (at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/aztecs-find-home-eagle-has-landed).


The Days of the Dead, include the traditional altars
festooned with bright colored flowers, cut colorful paper, and the very well
known sugar, candy skulls and the bread shaped like bones. Students can be
directed to this wonderful EDSITEment-reviewed interactive site from the
Smithsonian Latino Center, at: http://latino.si.edu/DayoftheDead/.


The Days of the Dead are now celebrations from Mexico marked
by many American students across the country. Students may want to know how
some students are participating in this celebration and even making their own
altars. Take a look at these elementary school students in Texas!  http://art.unt.edu/ntieva/aps/north/dead.htm





There is certainly a need to have a solid curriculum that studies sciences, as well as history, technology as well as the arts, and what is our identity, as students, youth, teachers, adults, citizens without our culture, at the same time including many different cultures from around the world?


This Blueprint will be exploring different resources on the humanities, art and cultural practices from http://edsitement.neh.gov/.


Want Art?


Our first stop at our rich content is the EDSITEment-reviewed website, El Museo del Prado, at:  http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/museo-nacional-del-prado, where students can learn about the collection at this world-class museum, and where students and teachers can access audioguides for a greater learning experience, at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/museo-nacional-del-prado-audio-guides. Another stop for art can take students to these textbooks for your elementary school students, all in Spanish, where they can learn through visually stunning interactive textbooks about the language to speak about the arts, at:  Libro de Texto de CUARTO DE PRIMARIA — Educación Artística (http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/libro-de-texto-de-cuarto-de-primaria-educacion-artistica) and  Libro de Texto de PRIMERO DE PRIMARIA — Educación Artística (http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/libro-de-texto-de-primero-de-primaria-educacion-artistica).


Got History?


To learn about history from other countries, students and educators can access resources to learn about the country south of the US border, Mexico.


The Mexican Revolution was the first modern revolution of the twentieth century. This EDSITEment-created bilingual feature discusses this
key historical moment in history, http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/centennial-mexican-revolution-1910-2010. This feature is also available in Spanish at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/sites/edsitement.neh.gov/files/worksheets/centennial-mexican-revolution-1910-2010-spanish.pdf.  More resources on the 2010 anniversaries for Mexico, on both Mexican Revolution and Mexican Independence, http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/ninos-2010-centenario-revolucion-bicentenario-independencia, which provides students with information on two essential  historical moments for the country of Mexico.


Need Poetry?


A must for any Spanish aficionado or Spanish teacher, Hispanic poetry presents a wonderfully rich canon of some of the best poets.
One of the most important Hispanic poets, and the first Latin American poet and famous nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. A full academic unit from EDSITEment  (http://edsitement.neh.gov/curriculum-unit/sor-juana-ines-de-la-cruz-first-great-latin-american-poet), consists of two lesson plans that study some of the most important sonnets written in the Spanish languages as well as Sor Juana’s famous “The Reply.” The
Reply has been praised by some as the first feminist statement written in the New World.


Sor Juana lived and wrote her poetry during the Baroque, or during the Hispanic Golden Age. Other great poets of the Spanish Golden Age
include Cervantes and Góngora. These poets are studied in the bilingual EDSITEment-reviewed feature: Six Hispanic Literary Giants, http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/six-hispanic-literary-giants and in Spanish, http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/seis-gigantes-de-la-literatura-hispana.  This bilingual feature studies six great Hispanic poets, including three Nobel laureates in literature of the twentieth century: Chilean poets Gabriela Mistral and famous Pablo Neruda, as well as Mexican poet, Octavio Paz.


Hungry for Culture?


Culture and cultural practices are possibly one of the most exciting ways to involve students in the learning of a foreign language. Students can learn about different traditions from countries like Mexico, especially for holidays throughout the year. One traditional practice in Mexico is the
increasingly popular Day of the Dead (El día de los muertos), celebrated on November 2nd. This day commemorates departed children and adults
through a feast in their honor, involving also the building of colorful altars decorated with flowers, carefully cut papier mâché. More information on this
special day in Mexican and Latino culture can be found via our EDSITEment-created Resource, Origins of Halloween and the Day of the Dead at http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/origins-halloween-and-day-dead.


Christmas is a most important festivity for Latinos and Mexicans, presenting a combination of both indigenous traditions as well as Spanish and
Christian traditions. The Posadas, a singing occasion in which groups of people remember the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The posadas have certain traditional practices and cuisine. This EDSITEment-recommended website introduces viewers to the cultural practice of the posadas, at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/posadas-and-other-traditions-mexico.











Take your students travelling around the world with EDSITEment!



EDSITEment has vetted and approved resources that can be used in the classroom to take your students on a trip to Hispanic countries. Students can now practice their Spanish skills and travel in time and geographically with this foreign language educational journey! Have students pack their bags to take a journey.



The first stop is Mexico, a neighboring nation. Students will go visit the Organization of Popular Cultures to learn about different traditions of Mexico, http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/la-diversidad-cultural-de-mexico, including seasonal traditions and festivities, and different indigenous groups of Mexico,  http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/posadas-and-other-traditions-mexico. Then, they can go to Oaxaca for a virtual journey, at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/virtualoaxaca!



For a second stop, students will remain in Mexico, but will travel in time! A journey in time will take them to hear audiobooks and stories that teach them about the Mexican Revolution (1910) and Mexican Independence (1820), http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/audiolibros-ninos-2010. If students are curious about the Mexican Revolution, they can also read and learn about this important historical event, the first modern Revolution of the XX century (bilingual) with this EDSITEment-created spotlight on the Mexican Revolution, http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/centennial-mexican-revolution-1910-2010. They can also take an opportunity to take a virtual tour of all the rooms and gardens of the Presidential Palace in Mexico City, at:




Students have to then pack their bags with summer clothes, to go to Puerto Rico. They will get the chance to learn about Puerto Rican music and culture with this bilingual interactive website, http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/collectors-vision-puerto-rico.



Students will then head down to South America, to learn about the country of Chile. This site from EducarChile, Nuestro Chile, http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/nuestro-chile. will teach students about the history of Chile, important historical figures, important poets and artists as well as important geographical sites of the nation of Chile.



To end the journey, students can pack up again and cross the Atlantic to go to Spain. Students will then visit the Museo del Prado, a world class museum in Madrid, http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/museo-nacional-del-prado. Students can visit the different galleries and listen to different audio guides about the museum, http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/museo-nacional-del-prado-audio-guides.



The journey can continue! Take your students to these nations, and open their eyes to new cultures and, in the process, expose him to the Spanish language.

A Great Guide to EDSITEment Resources for Spanish Learning According to Levels of Proficiency: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced



To begin, novices can get started with something most simple, like the colors in Spanish. It is important that students are introduced to a language in its entirety,
including listening comprehension, reading, and writing. The EDSITEment lesson
plan, De colores: http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/de-colores,
presents ten basic colors for students to learn. The lesson plan has an
interactive activity appropriate for younger learners or novices. This
interactive also has audio, which allows students and learners to listen to the
new vocabulary words in Spanish while providing visuals to facilitate learning.



Another lesson plan for novices with some exposure to the language and basic vocabulary is the lesson plan La familia, http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/la-familia. This lesson plan has the basic vocabulary to talk about families and family
members. This lesson plan also has several activities for students to learn in
context about the new vocabulary. This is a lesson plan ideally covered after
the De colores lesson plan.



EDSITEment offers also online textbooks from the Secretariat of Public Education, which are all visually appealing, age-appropriate fully online interactive textbooks, for
several levels (elementary school grades, Mexico)






Libro de Texto, tercero de primaria, español:






Libro de Texto, quinto de primaria, español:






Libro de Texto, sexto de primaria, Educación Artística:






A complete list of vetted Spanish websites can be found at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/reference-shelf/best-web-spanish-language-websites-general-sites



Other resources for Spanish learners of more advanced proficiency can also be
accessed by EDSITEment. Students might want to explore the life of a young girl
as a migrant worker in the fields of California (now a lesson plan also in






Other resources can also be found on our site! Have advanced students (AP Spanish
students) learn about some of the greatest poets of Spain and Latin America (a
bilingual feature available in both Spanish and Spanish):









Students can explore with an interactive resource a famous poem, or ode, by famous Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, the Oda al mar --this poem was also featured in the famous Italian film, Il postino:






Finally, perhaps students in the AP Spanish and college level would be interested about the first great Latin American poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. EDSITEment has an entire interactive unit with two lesson plans, both in Spanish and English,
with an interactive activity, an interactive timeline as well as several rich



Discover the poet that many call the “first feminist of the New World”





The traditions of the Día de muertos: from sugar skulls to bone-shaped bread



November 2nd is the Day of the Dead, Día de muertos, in Mexico. The day involves religion and a combination of traditions from two continents, which is the foundation of Latino culture, as we can see through this EDSITEment-reviewed resource (with multimedia and lesson plans), When Worlds Collide, at http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/when-worlds-collide.



The tradition of the Day of the Dead, November 2nd,  shares some similarities with the tradition of Halloween, a day so well known in America. You can learn more about both of these traditions through the EDSITEment feature on these two cultural celebrations, Halloween and the Day of the Dead, http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/origins-halloween-and-day-dead.


Traditions of the Day of the Dead include the building of altars to those who have departed, as can be seen on this website, http://www.diademuertos.com/ . The altars often contain decorations, flowers, photos, food for the celebration and candles. This is all prepared in anticipation for the visits of those who are departed to spend time with their relatives. 


More information on the practice of building altars can be found on a great number of resources. For instance, students may be excited to learn that this practice can be seen followed with alacrity in many parts of the United States. For instance, you can explore this practice by visiting this website in which students can see a high school in Texas celebrating the Days of the Dead, http://art.unt.edu/ntieva/aps/north/dead.htm.


The world-renowned Peabody Museum of Archaelogy and Ethnology also has a great collection of resources on the Day of the Dead and all the cultural practices surrounding this special day for Mexican culture. This can be found at: http://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/287 .


Will you introduce your students to this cultural event this year?


The Common Core State Standards, English Language Learners and Foreign Language Learning: How Hard Is It to Align Them?



We have been hearing a lot about Common Core lately, that’s for sure. For teachers of Spanish, other foreign languages or English Language Learners (ELL), the standards imply some extra challenges: the learning of a new target language and testing proficiency. Our group is trying to help teachers by presenting ways to locate resources that may help on the web. We want to present the website (bilingual, Spanish/English) Colorín Colorado (http://www.colorincolorado.org/index.php?langswitch=en ).



For Spanish teachers, foreign language teachers and English Language Learning, this site has  multimedia resources with live modules featuring teachers from Albuquerque, New Mexico, that can be accessed via

http://www.colorincolorado.org/educators/common_core/classroom/video/pd/  to listen to teachers explore how to align ELL teaching with the Common Core State Standards.



Something that perhaps we can start with is getting to know first the Common Core State Standards. This site has some key information written by a ELL teacher, http://www.colorincolorado.org/educators/common_core/introduction/ . This site, http://www.colorincolorado.org/educators/common_core/resources/ , presents some resources on how to implement the common core standards in different states and classrooms.


Un mapa para docentes:


Para los docentes que no conozcan los recursos que ofrece EDSITEment, he aquí un mapa para aprender un poco acerca de cómo utilizar nuestros recursos y cómo sacar provecho a todo lo que nuestra página web ofrece.


1-Hacer una búsqueda escribiendo EDSITEment, acudiendo a http://edsitement.neh.gov/


2-En la página principal, se puede bien elegir cualquier opción de la página, hay un boletín en el centro, el cual rota dando la opción de elegir uno de los recursos, presentando un total de 5 o 6 de los mismos.


3-Se debe prestar atención a otras partes de la página, como la opción en la parte superior a la derecha del usuario que presenta la búsqueda. También hay otras opciones como las conexiones de la NEH, archivadas en: http://edsitement.neh.gov/neh-connections , o sitios en la Red recomendados por EDSITEment, archivadas en: http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites , tanto como páginas especialesm en: http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites . Nótese que cada página tiene una amplia variedad de opciones.


4-En el centro y debajo del boletín, se puede encontrar el calendario. Este cambia día con día, para presentar lo que ha ocurrido en el pasado o en la historia, junto con recursos educativos en EDSITEment relacionado con cada evento de importancia. El calendario entero se encuentra en: http://edsitement.neh.gov/calendar


5-Nótese que también se puede encontrar en la parte superior de la página una amplia variedad de recursos para el estudiante, con actividades interactivas divididas por tema o campo de estudio.


6-En el centro, en el area del boletín se puede encontrar también un menú para localizar y ver todo plan de clase disponible dividido por campo: lenguas extranjeras (http://edsitement.neh.gov/subject/foreign-language ); Arte y cultura (http://edsitement.neh.gov/subject/art-culture );Literatura y lengua (http://edsitement.neh.gov/subject/literature-language-arts ); Historia y ciencias sociales (http://edsitement.neh.gov/subject/history-social-studies ).


7-Otros recursos de gran utilidad e interés para docentes es Picturing America, en http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plans/picturing-america , que contiene una colección de recursos visuales así como planes de clase para cada recurso visual o artístico. También se puede encontrar la colección de Nosotros el pueblo, en http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plans/we-people , con un conjunto de planes de clase acerca del estudio de la historia y el gobierno de los Estados Unidos de América.


8-Los recursos todos son gratuitos y están al servicio de la comunidad. ¡Disfruten y aprovechen! Atentamente, el equipo de Recursos para docentes del castellano, en http://www.thinkfinity.org/groups/docentesdelcastellano y el equipo de EDSITEment, http://edsitement.neh.gov/


Muy queridos docentes del castellano y de lenguas



¡Estamos en una etapa en la cual todo se está
moviendo a una velocidad tremenda! La Red permite que  todo esté disponible a tal ritmo que es
casi imposible mantenerse bien informado en todo lo que hay en cuanto a
materiales educativos.  Otro reto es la
de estos recursos para asegurar que éstos sean apropiados en todos aspectos
para ser utilizados en el aula o por los estudiantes. Estamos hablando de una
accesibilidad masiva.



El proyecto de EDSITEment tiene como objetivo el facilitar
el acceso a diferentes recursos de alta calidad para los docentes, estudiantes
o estudiosos de los diferentes campos en las humanidades. Esto incluye la
de versiones bilingües de diferentes recursos, como los planes de clase de
Esperanza renace (http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/esperanza-renace-aprendiendo-no-temer-el-comenzar-de-nuevo
) o Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, http://edsitement.neh.gov/curriculum-unit/sor-juana-ines-de-la-cruz-first-great-latin-american-poet
, o bien creando páginas electrónicas para el estudio de aspectos de la cultura
o literatura hispana, como esta página que estudia a seis grandes poetas de la
literatura hispana (versión bilingüe), http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/seis-gigantes-de-la-literatura-hispana



La página de recursos para el aprendizaje y la enseñanza
del castellano de EDSITEMent, http://edsitement.neh.gov/reference-shelf/best-web-spanish-language-websites-general-sites
, así
como las páginas
en diferentes niveles han sido evalúadas y aprobadas por páneles
de docentes o profesores en la lengua hispana, y han sido recomendados como
buenas fuentes para docentes. En cuanto a la importancia de hoy en día
del aprendizaje de lenguas extranjeras, hay bastante literatura en cuanto a los
efectivos. Aquí me gustaría tomarme la oportunidad para invitar a docentes a
compartir recursos que les han sido de utilidad o de ayuda. Así mismo, quisiera
compartir algunos recursos en cuanto a la enseñanza de lenguas extranjeras.



Este recurso, http://www.learner.org/resources/series185.html
, tiene una variedad de recursos, incluyendo una biblioteca de videos para
docentes de kinder hasta nivel preparatoria, una serie de charlas, e inclusive
28 programaciones en video de una duración de media hora, así como 2 de media hora,
una guía de biblioteca y una a página en la red. Una amplia variedad de
recursos para docentes de lenguas extranjeras se puede encontrar aquí http://www.learner.org/libraries/tfl/
. Este rico recurso presenta clases para aprender aspectos de otras culturas e
idiomas. Por ejemplo, en el conjunto de lecciones, esta lección acerca de la
comida y el castellano, en http://www.learner.org/libraries/tfl/spanish/pedini/analyze.html#
, presenta una serie de videos con actividades que fomentan el aprendizaje y la



Otro gran recurso para la práctica del castellano es esta gran
colección de la Universidad de Texas, que contiene una variedad de niveles de
abilidad, así como ejercicios audiovisuales, en http://www.laits.utexas.edu/spe/ .
Los niveles son varios: principiante, intermedio y avanzado. Tales recursos
tienen un gran potencial para uso invididual de los estudiantes o neófitos como
para todo estudiante del castellano.



Nos gustaría pedir a toda persona leyendo nuesto blog que
compartan con el grupo de Docentes recursos que conozcan o que les haya sido
útil en el pasado, así como recursos o ideas que hayan sido de beneficio para
los estudiantes. No se olviden de visitar nuestra gran página en la Red, http://edsitement.neh.gov/ .


As the founder of this Thinkfinity Community group, I would like to
congratulate and welcome our two wonderful hosts, Rene Palafox and Tracey
Johnson. Tracey is just joining us as a collaborator and host. We are delighted
to have such great teachers with a true love and passion for what it is to
teach and never stop learning in the process. The community at large as well as
the staff from EDSITEment is most thankful to have the combined experience of
these teachers comtributing to our group, Recursos para docentes del
castellano. I asked Tracey for a brief introduction to learn more about her
interests, and she kindly responded in these words:



“I have been teaching Spanish and English in Hinckley, Minnesota for over 20
years. Over the years, it has been my goal to open up the eyes and world of the
students in my small community, and encourage them to continue studying and
using the language beyond high school. I appreciate being a part of the
Thinkfinity Community, as it gives me opportunities to collaborate with other
educators, a necessary and an invaluable experience.”



welcome Tracey to Recursos para docentes del castellano and invite all of you
with an interest in learning or teaching Spanish to join our group and share
your comments, discussion questions, resources or ideas. Mil gracias. Thank


As we enter into a brand new school year and a enjoy a brand new look for the Community, EDSITEment’s Docentes is welcoming two new hosts to its group. We are very excited and hope you will be, too! Here is the first of our new group leaders: Rene Palafox, who has been active in the group for some time and has also authored EDSITEment Spanish lesson plans under the editorial guidance of Docentes founder Luisanna Carrillo-Rubio.


Rene Palafox.jpg


Rene has been a high school teacher for over 30 years and has taught English learners and all levels of Spanish (from Beginning to Advanced Placement). The place of technology in the classroom has been one of Rene’s main goals for the last 20 years and as technology has evolved, so has his interest in using it to make class more interesting and also to help prepare students for college and beyond.  Rene says, “Being part of the Thinkfinity Community as well as Docentes ... has helped me expand my own knowledge by being able to better collaborate with others who have been willing to share ideas and also their classroom experiences. The future for our group can and will continue to be about helping each other do what is best for our students...”   Welcome, Rene!


Carol Peters

Director, EDSITEment



sitting on ledge.jpg

I found an article on Dual Language on the www.Spanishclassroom.com website. This article can also be found at http://www.spanishclassroom.com/2012/06/does-dual-language-immersion-work/#.T84d2xeVs2s.thinkfinity.


Does Dual-Language Immersion Work?


Published in Elementary School Resources, High School Resources, Middle School Resourcesby jreyes .

Mario Castro

Effectiveness of Bilingual education

When implemented correctly, bilingual education works. So has Stephen Krashen, as well as other notable linguists and educators, always maintained ever since Proposition 187 and other similar propounded measures began rearing their heads in California and elsewhere in the country back in the late 90s.

Even though there is ample, verifiable data that shows how bilingual education benefits not just English-Language Learners (ELLs) but English-Only (EO) students as well, today there are still some people who reject the findings and continue to fear that somehow “foreigners” are going to take over the country and educational systems with their own languages and cultures.

Some say that what strengthens and unites us is our common English language. Others say that what strengthens and unites us is our multiculturalism. Debating which one of those theories is correct, or whether both are correct or incorrect, is not the purpose of this article. What needs to be stated unequivocally is that bilingual education, today in the form of dual language immersion, is working and the evidence is plain for anyone to see.

Proven Academic Success

Dual-language immersion, also known as two-way immersion, is by far the version of bilingual education preferred nowadays by most educators. The hard facts tell why. In studies conducted by E.R. Howard, Lisa M. Dorner, and many others, it has been clearly demonstrated that through adequate planning and effective implementation, dual-language immersion contributes in great measure to long-term academic success of both ELLs and EO students.

Case studies abound across the country in states such as California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. These are available for viewing and reading by anyone who has access to the Internet. A compiled bibliography of case studies and academic achievement can be found at this site from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL): http://www.cal.org/twi/bib/bib-aca.htm. In addition, Wikipedia also offers a very decent reference section on the effectiveness of two-way immersion on this page:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_language.

Strive for Bilingualism and Biliteracy

So what is dual-language immersion, and how does it work? Essentially, when you have English and a partner language as the languages of instruction in a classroom, you have dual language immersion. There are many dual language immersion models, but at least 50 percent of the school day must be taught in the partner language. According to CAL, dual-language immersion strives “to promote bilingualism and biliteracy, grade-level academic achievement, and positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors in all students.”

Descubre el español con Santillana, the new Spanish immersion program by Santillana USA, presents structured opportunities for all students, EOs, heritage speakers, and native Spanish speakers to practice the Spanish language accurately and at grade level through differentiated instruction so students with different modalities of learning can access the same curriculum. The various components and pacing guides available can accommodate the needs of most students and classroom settings by providing teachers the tools they need to successfully implement the program and make a positive difference in their students’ Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

Dual Language Immersion and Higher Standardized Test Scores

Descubre el español con Santillana is ideal for use in a dual-language immersion setting.Its student editions, anthologies of authentic Spanish literature, phonics readers, leveled thematic readers, and state-of-the art technological components comprise a comprehensive, yet simple and easy-to-use program that meets national world language standards, aligns with the Common Core State Standards, and provides assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor progress of their students as they prepare for the standardized end-of-year examinations.

Equally important is the fact that while doing so, teachers and students will also be experiencing the cultural richness of the Spanish language, and students will be making strides toward the achievement of bilingualism and biliteracy, both benefits that will be reflected in higher standardized test scores and in students’ AYP.

Since research has been going on for more than two decades, it is clear now in 2012 what the findings reveal. If schools and teachers want to improve and enhance students’ test results and fully close the achievement gap in second language (L2) students, they should consider dual-language immersion, especially when supported by comprehensive, research-based models like the one offered by Descubre el español con Santillana.

Also please view the video of our member emelki1968 on the http://www.spanishclassroom.com/libros-para-mi-escuelita-contest/ website.  She entered a contest to win Santillana Spanish books for her school B. Weaver Elementary.  We have only until June 6th to vote and support  emelki1968's school.



EDSITEment (http://edsitement.neh.gov/ ) offers a robust collection of resources for learners and teachers of Spanish as a foreign language as well as a collection of resources on Hispanic culture and literature for more advanced students of Spanish.


The National Endowment for the Humanities new website, at http://www.neh.gov/ features, in honor of Hispanic culture and literature and National Poetry Month EDSITEment’s curriculum unit on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: http://www.neh.gov/news/the-poetic-nun


For beginners, EDSITEment presents a collection of websites to aid Spanish learners and teachers:




and at:




And also lesson plans for beginners, like this on on La familia (The family):


For intermediate students, these websites have been gathered to aid teachers:


For advanced students and for AP level students, EDSITEment has a robust and growing collection of resources. These are some vetted websites:


This bilingual (Spanish and English) feature on Hispanic Poets Celebrates Hispanic Heritage and National Poetry Month, presenting three poets of the Spanish Golden Age and three twentieth century Nobel laureates:




and this Curriculum Unit consisting of two lesson plans on the works and life of the first great Latin American Poet:


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