Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reglas Básicas

Command forms . . . they are the grammatical bane of my existence.  An unholy mix of subjunctives, irregulars, and object pronouns that make learning and teaching Spanish a headache.  Why do they have to be so complicated? 

Today, while reviewing commands (again) in my Spanish IV class, I had a smart student give me that catatonic stare when I explained that ir was irregular in the affirmative command and was irregular in a different way in the other command forms.  I know we've been over it before, but every now and again students lose their grip on the rules and the irregulars, and we have to go over it all again.  At least there are some fun activities that one can do with command forms.  And here is a great list of commands from a photo I found online.  This is on the menu for tomorrow's warm-up activity!

The picture is crooked so it looks like the ones that I take!  Ja ja . . . and, of course, despídete and discúlpate could use accent marks.  I'll have my students see if they can spot the mistakes - always fun!

The culminating activity I like to do with my students when we finish the command forms is to have them compile a Do and Don't list in Spanish.  Then angel on my shoulder tells me to have them use their vocabulary to do this activity, but the other guy says "Just let them have fun with it."  Today I let Spanish IV off the vocabulary hook and let them write on a topic that I knew they would all find interesting.  (MUCH more interesting that the socially-relevant vocabulary that we have on our current list.  I know human rights and governmental restrictions are important topics and I will cover them thoroughly, but class doesn't always have to be so serious, right?)

The topic?  Dating Dos and Don'ts  I put them into single gender groups so the ladies could offer dating advice to the fellows and vice versa.  All over the classroom their were giggles and snorts as they worked, so they had a lot of fun while they were working.  Likewise I heard discussions about attaching the pronouns and using the subjunctive for negative commands, so I figure they are reviewing.  Here with less than two weeks of instruction left in the year, what more could I ask?

I will follow up tomorrow with some of their dating suggestions.

Hasta pronto,



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