Spanish isn’t merely just words in a textbook. Speaking Spanish is a vibrant, living reality for over 400 million people and 20 distinct countries! (Can you name them?). We can connect to these real live cultures by using authentic songs in our foreign language studies. In this way, we can share our universal human experience with the world. Using authentic songs to teach Spanish is a must!
Since most of my R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish curriculum users are beginners, this blog post will show you step by step one way to use authentic song as a tool to language learning. By ‘authentic’ songs, I mean songs written and sung by musicians and artists in their native language. There are lots of ‘made up’ songs about Spanish vocabulary or Spanish grammar. These can be fun and can help with learning Spanish, but we don’t connect with the culture or the people in the same way as with authentic songs.
At the end of the post, there is a free Spanish lesson plan for the song “Hoy es domingo” by Diego Torres. Download this easy lesson plan for free!
There are Many Reasons to Use Songs in a Spanish Lesson Plan.
The use of an authentic song can be an excellent jump into discussions about cultural differences and/or similarities. Also, songs can introduce new vocabulary, reinforce learned vocabulary, or be used for a great discussion topic on just about anything! You can take as little or as long as you like as you study the song, its vocabulary and its topics. Songs also help kids realize that we aren’t so “foreign” to each other after all!
Don’t Let Fear of Not Understanding Limit You!
You might not understand all the words, but that’s ok. Relax. Your language journey has to start somewhere, right? None of us start at the end already understanding the spoken and written language! The more relaxed you are about this, the more you will learn! So make it an adventure for you and for your kids!
How Do I Start?
Here are some suggested steps to remember when using a song as a language learning tool. Remember to lead up to listening to the song so you can prepare your brain to understand. Prepare for success!
First, pre-prepare the theme or vocabulary. In this way your group is more apt to capture the vocabulary as the song is sung. If, for example, the song is called, “Mi familia y yo”, come up with all kinds of vocabulary (in Spanish) you might hear. What do you think of when you hear ‘familia’? Write the Spanish words down so visual learners can see the written word.
Next…..Watch Without Sound
Next, watch the video without sound. What other words might you hear, now that you’ve seen the video? You can also use this as step 1 and pre-prepare by watching without sound to brainstorm topics in the video. Again, write the Spanish words down so visual learners can see the written word.
Then…..Listen With Sound
Then, Listen to the video with sound. Did you hear some of the words you thought you might hear?
After That…..Show Some of the Lyrics
After that, show the lyrics with certain words blanked out. Read the lyrics (but don’t give away the blanks yet!). The group will get the idea of where the blanks are and what to listen for. They will also become familiar with some of the other words and know what to expect. This can also confirm to them some of the words they guessed might be in the song, and/or some of the words they thought they heard while listening.
Now…..Fill In The Blanks
Now listen to the video and try to fill in the blanks. Stop periodically if you need. Also if you need to, help them out if it is proving too difficult. Or listen several times to certain passages. Train your brain to listen and hear the sounds of Spanish at fast speeds.
Next read through the whole song. Did you all get all the words? Read it in English too.
Finally…..Watch Again with Words!
Finally, watch the video again and everyone can follow along with the Spanish.
It’s important not to make this exercise too difficult. Feeling like you have understood something new gives us confidence! Help to make your kids successful!
Lots of Help Online! You are Not Alone!
Below are some websites that promote authentic Spanish songs for teachers and learners of Spanish. Remember, Google is your friend. Google the lyrics if you need to. Is the vocabulary difficult? Google the vocabulary. Your kids can do this too if they want. What new words and grammatical structures can they learn!
Scroll to bottom for the free Spanish lesson plan!
- Spanish Mama. There are tons of resources here for the Spanish learner/teacher.
- Mama Lisa’s World. International Music and Culture. Songs by language, or by country, or by continent and many more!
- The Comprehensible Classroom has a list of things you can do with a song in the classroom.
- Kristy Placido also has a simple list of things to do with a song
Download a complete free Spanish lesson plan using “Hoy es domingo” by Diego Torres! for FREE!
¡Diviértanse! Have fun!
After you fill out the form, you’ll see a LINK AND A PASSWORD to go to download page!
All pictures from Pixabay.com