I want my students to be able to think globally, read, and listen to authentic Spanish. I found the perfect mix at Euronews. There are eight European languages to choose from, including Spanish. Each of the news stories is a short video with an accompanying transcript. They are also short and to the point, so it would not be too overwhelming for a student.
I added Euronews to my Netvibes page, so when there is a relevant article/video that I think I can add to my classroom, I will. The World Cup is being held in 2010, and during the school year there are the elimination matches. I hope that the World Cup is covered, since sports is one of the first things we are going to study in 8th grade Spanish.
If there are any other significant news stories (on the global scale) it would be beneficial to read the stories from someone else’s perspective – aka not the United States. I know the students made personal connections last year when I pulled up articles on “la gripe porcina” during the H1N1 outbreak. They wanted to know what other countries were doing and if they were as scared as the United States. It was nice to be able to pull up a BBC article in Spanish. This is going to take it one step further by providing audio, visuals, and the written transcript.
The transcript of the audio is a perfect way to differentiate instruction. I know some of the students could listen to the audio and be able to follow along. But many of the students would not be able to focus. Once they got lost, they would stop trying to listen. By having the written portion below the audio, it is a safety net. Everyone will be able to complete the activity, even if they have to listen more than once. Also, I would not expect them to know 100% of the meaning. These are authentic listening opportunities. So there are many words and verb tenses they might not recognize. However, with a strong background in reading already, they should be able to make educated guesses.
The articles will provide springboards for student led discussions, in both Spanish and English. This is a tool I want to use to enhance my lessons. I will also be able to access it easily if the students ask any news related questions.