El Internado: Using Spanish-language Series in class to increase input and creative output!

¿Quieres increase input, output and “enchular” tu clase de Español! Sigue estos pasos con  una serie que vale de pena!

El Internado Series is now available on Netflix!

The Internado is back on Netflix!!!!

       I am a true Telenovelera y de pura cepa. Despite having a packed schedule and busy life like most of my fellow soldiers out in the  trenches of academia, I still make time for my most beloved pastime- Telenovelas. While washing dishes or preparing meals, I have my iPad tuned to Netflix where I have access to the vast array of drama-land. Consistent with the Comprehensible Input theory, 

I realized that watching these 40 minute drama-drenched conundrums my vocabulary had improved both dramatically and incidentally. I learned a host of new expressions from other countries and now I am “weird” one speaking at home (Spanish is my second language but my husband’s family is from Colombia).  I often have slip ups of rarely used word and phrases and I am puzzled as to “where did that come from”. So, this got me to thinking more seriously about the relationship between the use of media and one’s receptive and productive vocabularies. Furthermore, if these content rich series have produced this native-like outpouring of language in my own life, couldn’t the result be same for my students?   I put this theory to the test!

 

Everyone is watching El Internado and so should you!
       Every one is watching the Internado nowadays. If you are not, then you should be! The boarding school series laced with drama was hook, line and sinker for my Spanish 4s this past year. I actually stumbled upon it on Pinterest and decided to check it out the summer before presenting and then- I was hopelessly hooked. I was going to bed thinking “Pobrecitos, que serán de Marcos y su hermana.” This series had me on the edge.  I started showing it in class, having given students a peep at the Gran Hotel the semester before. They were immediately enamored with the plot and its Ronan like twists and turns. However, I did not know quite what to do with this.  I swam in the vast ocean of the internet and found some very promising blogs. To my surprise, there where other Internado life forms out in the blogosphere. I’d like to share a few blogs I consulted and then one way in which I have totally absorb this new resource into my curriculum.

Internado- This Is How I roll 

So to fully integrate the Internado into my class, I made sure to align the episode with our thematic lessons and grammar focus for the unit.  Here is the run down:

1. First I show them this PPT of the main characters. We talk about where they live and the students make predictions of that they think the show is going to be about. I got this PPT online at some point, but cannot remember where. Since I start in the beginning of the year, this is a pivotal time to lightly review descriptive adjectives and all of the indicative tenses. There is a lot here you can do in the first viewing of the characters:

– Compare and contrast the groups of friends with your group

-Compare and contrast the school setting with yours

-Judge a book by its cover- based on the character’s appearance determine a list of personality traits.

Reparto del Internado

2. Then I pass out this Character Grid for watching the Trailer. It has the main reparto of characters. I cooked this up really quickly before one of my classes. As students watch they have to make annotations about the relationships between the characters. They use this as we view the trailer. Click here for the Internado trailer.

Character grid.

After whetting their appetites with the  Internado trailer, I have them get into small groups and discuss the questions below (after the few ideas):

Few ideas to do with the questions: 

  • Students can respond individually and then get into groups
  • Place questions throughout the class and have students walk around. When the music stops they have to sit and speak with a partner.
  • Chat Stations- I got this idea in general from the Cult of Pedagogy.  I type out the questions 1 by 1 in 70 size font. I print those copies and then each one is taped to a  8X16 piece of construction paper and spread throughout the room.
  • Power Point- I also just enlarge the questions and flip through the PPT. They can move around or sit in a group and discuss. At the end, I also cut the questions (regular size additional copy) into strips and then these are exit tickets. Each student has a different question.

Internado Preliminary Questions 

1. ¿Te gustaría vivir en un Internado?  


2. ¿Cuáles son las ventajas o desventajas de vivir en un Internado?  ¿Para los estudiantes? ¿Para los profesores?


3. ¿Cómo serían las relaciones entre los estudiantes y profesores en un Internado?


4. ¿Por qué crees que los padres ponen(ingresan) sus hijos en los Internados? ¿Crees que son familias con medios o personas de clase media?  


5. ¿Cómo serían las relaciones entre los estudiantes?


6. ¿Por qué crees que los Internados son muy apartados de la sociedad?


7. ¿Cuáles son algunas situaciones locas que podrían pasar en Internado que no podría pasar en una escuela regular?


8. Las drogas hoy en día es un gran problema en las preparatorias y las universidades. ¿Crees que este problema sería más controlado en un Internado?

Critical Thinking and Making Predictions 

Questions and those similar to these get students to think about implications of attending a boarding school and prepares them for the input.

I’d love to have a whole year dedicated to watching and analyzing El Internado as the content definitively stretches. One of the most important things I do is to bend its content to fit with our thematic unit. This makes watching a movie fun. It also helps them to make connections.  During the first viewing, we were working on our Las Relaciones unit so naturally, the first two episodes centered on Relaciones.  We used the content of the Internado to:

1. Describe relationships and people

2. Discuss love and relationships

3. Jealousy (Ivan and Marcos)

The grammar point emphasized throughout this unit was the present subjunctive so many of the questions and how they engaged gave them an opportunity to use this language function. This  language function was a good fit.  I created this contextualized activity for chapter 2.

Part of the chapter 2 activity
Students use the subjunctive to describe how everyone wants life to be.

The use impersonal phrases as well.

Students used the questions in groups. Although the activity is in the form of a worksheet, I usually write the questions in big form, spread them throughout the room and students engage in a 1 minute speed dating activity. This last class loved it. They could not wait to get to the Internado. In fact, I had one students who had missed a unit assessment. The only day she could take it was the day we’d watch El Internado and she decided to come after school. She said “There is no way I am missing the Internado.” I thought her priorities were interesting, but this series will do that to you!

Looking to use the Internado Long term, check out Mike’s work around the themes: it is exhaustive!

The Internado Specialist 

My Generation of Polygots a fellow educator, Mike Peto, has spent quite a lot of time crafting activities the first season of the Internado. The vocabulary along with other worthwhile activities can be found on TeacherPayTeachers.  Although the bundle is approximately $7, it is totally worth it for the first episode as it sets the tone and primes students to engaging in this cultural phenomena. Click here to see his product.  He has up to season 4. Interested in Mike’s insights about the series, you can also click here for his blog.

*Please note that  I will be uploading more bits and pieces throughout the year. The bulk of the content created really came later in the year once I realized its potential. I am still formatting (to enhance the quality) the vocabulary lists, expressions list, PPT and dynamic Chat Stations that revolutionize my class and my relationship with my students.

Check out the series. It is available on Netflix. Until we meet again!

 More to come- stay tuned!

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