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Teacher Resources / Recursos para Maestros

This letter is to greet you:
Language, migration and daily life in the experience of one
Mexican American family

The following materials were designed to address the needs of High School and college Spanish learners at the intermediate/advanced levels. Our general goal is to allow students to use the resources of the Shanahan collection to develop their linguistic skills and their cultural competence as they learn about the experience of Mexican American families at the start of the Twentieth Century.

The activities presented here were developed for two types of students: Those who are speakers of Spanish as a heritage language, and those who are learning it as a second language.

Following Beaudrie & Potowski (2014), we believe that speakers of Spanish as a heritage language bring with them linguistic, social and cultural knowledge that must be valued in the classroom. We understand a heritage language learner as a student who grew up in a family or community environment where a minority language was spoken, and who possesses an affective and cultural connection with that language.

We acknowledge the fact that, in the context of the United States, most Spanish classrooms serve both types of students. Each teacher will be free to adapt this material (and the other resources in the collection), to fit the specific needs of their students.

Lesson Plans

More teaching ideas / Más ideas para el salón de clase

The following lesson plans were developed as part of a university course on Heritage Speaker Pedagogy, offered in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, during the spring of 2018. The students who prepared them generously share them with other Spanish instructors. The use of these materials is permitted exclusively for non-commercial use and only with attribution to their author.

External Resources

Developmental Targets

Heritage Language Learners
Beaudrie & Potowski, 2014
Second Language Learners, K-12
Nebraska K-12 Foreign Language Frameworks
HL & L2 Advanced-Mid level learners, young adult and beyond
ACTFL Writing Proficiency Guidelines, 2012
Development of reading and writing skills in Spanish Communicate in Languages Other than English (Goal 1) “[...] They demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe with detail in all major time frames with good control of aspect. They are able to write straightforward summaries on topics of general interest. Their writing exhibits a variety of cohesive devices in texts up to several paragraphs in length. There is good control of the most frequently used target-language syntactic structures and a range of general vocabulary. Most often, thoughts are expressed clearly and supported by some elaboration. This writing incorporates organizational features both of the target language and the writer’s first language and may at times resemble oral discourse. Writing at the Advanced Mid sublevel is understood readily by natives not used to the writing of non-natives. When called on to perform functions or to treat issues at the Superior level, Advanced Mid writers will manifest a decline in the quality and/or quantity of their writing.”
Development of cohesive devices characteristic of formal varieties of written Spanish Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures (Goal 2)
Transfer of academic skills Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information (Goal 3)
Expansion of bilingual range Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture (Goal 4)
Awareness and appreciation of different varieties of Spanish Participate in Multilingual Communities at Home & Around the World (Goal 5)
Awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity within and beyond Latinx communities

Are you a teacher? / ¿Eres maestr@?

Have you used the materials in this collection in your own classroom? Have a great teaching idea? Share your work! Your ideas can help us improve the quality of teaching in and about U.S. Spanish.

A note on nomenclature

The word Latinx has been used in all teaching materials written in English as a way to recognize the diversity of gender experiences within our communities. Used as a noun, this gender-neutral form is employed in this site to designate a person of Latin American descent from, or living in, the United States.

Owing to the fact that Spanish requires agreement between nouns, adjectives, and determiners, and that all nouns in Spanish are marked for grammatical gender, the alternative latin@ was employed in materials written in Spanish.