Chapter 1: Clase

Discussion | Role Play | Lab | Simulation

Activity 1: Discussion

Discuss in groups of three which classes at the University are most interesting, most boring, most useful, easiest vs. hardest, etc. To the best of your ability, explain why you hold this opinion. Note the similarities and differences among your classmates. Ask your professor to help you if there is a phrase you do not know.

Expresiones �tiles
La clase de � es la m�s �til. The � class is the most useful.
La clase de � es la m�s f�cil. The � class is the easiest.
Dif�cil difficult
Interesante interesting
Aburrido/a boring
(No) Hay mucha tarea. There is (isn�t) a lot of homework.
(No) Hay muchas ideas interesantes. There are (aren�t) a lot of interesting ideas.
Te prepara para una carrera. It prepares you for a profession.

Activity 2: Discussion

College life is very different from high school. Moreover, social norms and expectations differ widely in distinct schools, regions, and countries. Discuss in groups of three or four what are �normal� activities, or a �normal� routine in your university now. Discuss what are �normal� activities, or a �normal� routine in your high school. Note the differences that exist not only between high school and university, but also between students of different backgrounds. Ask your professor to help you if there is a phrase you do not know.

Expresiones �tiles

Aqu� en la universidad, normalmente los estudiantes�

Here at the University, students normally�
En mi colegio, normalmente los estudiantes� At my high school, students normally�
�Por qu� (no) hacen eso? Why do (don�t) they do that?
�Con cu�nta frecuencia hacen eso?

How frequently do they do that?

Back to Top

Activity 3: Role Play

In the following activity you have gone to the office of your academic adviser to decide on the classes you should take next semester. Tell your academic adviser (consejero(a) acad�mico(a) what your major is, what you are studying and what you would like to take. Your adviser should suggest alternative classes, discuss the requirements for your major and help you plan your schedule for next semester (or the next few semesters).

Expresiones �tiles:
�Qu� clases debo tomar? What classes should I take?
Debes tomar una clase de You should take a ________ class.
�Cu�l es tu carrera? What is your major?

Activity 4: Role Play

En mi clase ideal. In pairs or groups of three take turns asking questions about the perfect classroom. Each of you is the coolest Spanish teacher at your university. Talk about what kind of things you would put in the ideal classroom. What kind of technology would be there (computers, video-DVD equipment, projectors, computers, etc.). Would you add couches (sof�s), easy chairs (sillones), or something similar? Would there be a snack/drink machine, etc.? Be creative.

Expresiones �tiles:
�C�mo es tu aula perfecta? What is your perfect classroom like?
En mi nueva sala de clases quiero... In my new classroom I want�
Me gusta� I like �
Prefiero... I prefer�
Quiero tener... I want to have...

Activity 5: Role Play

Using the Encuentro Cultural on page 31, one of you plays the role of a foreign exchange from a Spanish-speaking country, the other is a new U.S. classmate. Take turns asking questions about each other�s country, language, school system, etc. Try practicing with the 24-hour clock to discuss a typical day in the life of a student.

Expresiones �tiles:
�Qu� idioma(s) hablas? What language(s) do you speak?
�De d�nde eres? Where are you from?
�C�mo es la escuela en tu pa�s? What is school like in your country?
�Es muy dif�cil/f�cil la oposici�n? Is the college entrance exam hard/easy?
�D�nde vives cuando asistes a la universidad? Where do you live when you attend college?
Describe un d�a t�pico en la universidad. Describe a typical day in the university.

Back to Top

Activity 6: Lab

During this lab hour have students explore your university website. Have them search for information related to the Spanish Department, Latin American Studies, or other similar programs at your university that relate to the people, cultures, language and literature of the Spanish-speaking world. Have them write down in Spanish the requirements for a major and/or a minor, in one of these fields as well as some of the extracurricular organizations that they might participate in related to Spanish. If your university has no webpage available for its Spanish program, have the students practice with one or more of the websites below.

Expresiones �tiles
la carrera major
sociedad honoraria honor society
club de espa�ol Spanish club
organizaci�n estudiantil student organization
�Cu�ntas clases hay que tomar? How many classes does one have to take?
�Qu� clases hay que tomar? What classes do you have to take?
�Qu� otras actividades hay para estudiantes? What other activities are there for students?

Activity 7: Lab

To the teacher: In this lab activity students will take the opportunity to explore websites relating to study abroad programs. A selection of various study abroad websites is listed below. Be sure to have students begin with study abroad programs available through their own university.

In this activity you will explore possible study abroad programs that will take you to Spanish-speaking countries. As you explore the websites you should look for information on

  • Location
  • Cost
  • Length of stay
  • Types of classes offered
  • Language tracks or programs available

Search for information in your university�s website for study abroad programs or try one of the links below. Choose an interesting Spanish-speaking country to visit for a semester or year-long program. After collecting the information, use the questions below and discuss with at least three other students the information they have found for their favorite programs.

Expresiones �tiles:
�En qu� pa�s vas a estudiar? In what country are you going to study?
�D�nde queda�? Where is it located�?
�Cu�nto cuesta? How much does it cost?
�Cu�nto dura el programa? How long does the program last?
�Qu� clases ofrecen? What classes are offered?
�Se puede estudiar espa�ol b�sico? Can one study basic Spanish?

Activity 8: Lab

In this lab activity you will explore the web for information about the oldest modern university in the Spanish-speaking world.

http://www.usal.es/

To begin with, look under Historia y actualidad. Find information on the founding of the university and the important people who have worked and attended school there.

�Cu�ndo se fund� la universidad? When was the university founded?
Se fund� en� It was founded in...
Nombra cuatro estudiantes o profesores importantes en la historia de la Universidad de Salamanca. Name four important students/professors in the history of the University of Salamanca.

Under facultades
�Cu�ntas facultades hay en la Universidad? How many schools are there at the University?
�Cu�les facultades son similares a las de tu universidad? Which schools are similar to ones at your University?

Under becas

Busca informaci�n sobre una beca que paga la matr�cula.

Busca informaci�n sobre una beca que paga la comida.

Now share the information you have gathered with at least three classmates.

Back to Top

Activity 9: Simulation

En el centro estudiantil
If feasible, take your students over to your university's student union building and have them carry out these activities with Spanish-speaking students that work there, otherwise recreate the student center in the classroom.

Divide the class in half. Have several students work at the information counter telling students where to go (naming specific buildings and giving directions) to get help with their questions, and giving them general advice about life on campus. Have a phone center where students call to get various phone numbers around campus (recycle information from page 12 of Plazas about giving phone numbers). You can borrow real phones or make some. Have some students play the role of academic advisers. Have a lounge area where students meet to discuss their classes and daily activities. Have the other half of the students go randomly to each of the areas asking at least four or five questions at each station. If time permits, have the students switch places. Have the students prepare the night before by preparing a list of questions they might ask at each station, thinking about their own schedules, majors, people they need to reach on campus, etc. The student center workers prepare a series of questions to ask students as they come to the stations.

Back to Top