It’s easier for a teacher to deliver comprehensible language if it’s engaging or entertaining. And do you know who students think is the most entertaining? Themselves. It’s true! They love to talk about themselves, share their experiences, and tell their stories, which is why La Personal Especial works so well. And do you know who students think is the second most entertaining? Their teacher. It’s true! Your personal life is a huge mystery, even though you spend a ton of time with your students, so let’s encourage language acquisition by sharing a little bit more about our lives outside of the classroom.

With all of the excuses above, I used our wedding video to facilitate a MovieTalk on our 14th anniversary, and I told myself they had a lot of fun!

  • I DID NOT show this entire video. Just like all media we use un class, it’s up to the teacher to decide what is valuable, meaningful, comprehensible, and worth our time.
  • I drew a family tree on the board and pointed at people in the video so that  students could guess how we were related.
  • We talked about cultural norms with regard to marriage and name changes in hispanic countries and our own. 
  • The students described the scene and events (present progressive, adjectives, ser v. estar). 
  • I paused so that students could guess what people were about to do or say (future, subjunctive).
  • We shared our unique experiences from different weddings we had attended.
  • We talked about how much families spend on weddings compared to other large family expenses.
  • We compared weddings to quinceañeras.
  • I encouraged students to bring photos or videos for their Personal Especial day.

Let’s toss-out the old-school philosophy that our private lives should be completely secret in order to maintain authority. My dream is to be called Sarah instead of Profe Breckley, but I’ll save that post for another day.

Hastings, A. 1995. The FOCAL SKILLS Approach: An Assessment. In F. Eckman et al., Second Language Acquisition: Theory and Pedagogy. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 29-43.

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