Teaching Methodology

Rae Spanish utilizes a combination of direct instruction, authentic materials, and comprehensible input so that students ultimately develop three key skills: bilingualism, biliteracy, and cultural competency.

Students engage with all facets of second language learning every day: reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and culture.

Our vision for our students is for them to be prepared to take and pass AP® Spanish Language and AP® Spanish Literature and carry that momentum forward into their futures in their professional lives and higher education pathways.

We encourage the formation of lifelong Spanish learners and speakers who reap the health, economic, social, and cultural benefits of bilingualism and biliteracy.

Engaging lessons that lay the foundation

Our lessons are formatted so that students are presented with a new concept in an easy-to-digest fashion. They complete a short activity, then receive direct instruction to explain the new concept clearly. Finally, they complete another set of practice activities to solidify their new knowledge and carry it with them to the next lesson.

Interact with real-world Spanish from Day 1

Authentic materials are any type of print, video, or audio material that was created by Spanish speakers for Spanish speakers. According to a substantial body of research, authentic materials are more effective than textbook-type materials and activities, and they enhance cultural awareness in learners.

Providing students with comprehensible input in their second language challenges them while also providing necessary supports

Comprehensible input represents the idea that students need “input” that they mostly understand so that they don’t feel lost and confused, yet it needs to be just above their current level so that they are constantly propelled forward in the learning process.

End goal: Speak, Listen, Read, Write like a native speaker

Bilingualism, the ability to speak and listen equally in 2 languages, is developed through listening and speaking exercises set in realistic contexts. Biliteracy, the often-neglected skill of reading and writing at the same, formal level in two languages, is developed through specific lessons that prepare students to utilize Spanish in their future professional lives and in higher education.

Promoting global citizenship through a more just and inclusive cultural knowledge base

Our cultural lessons recognize the vast diversity of the Spanish-speaking world, which includes Hispanic (Spain) and Indigenous heritages. We highlight Indigenous voices and cultures that are not centered or not even mentioned in most Spanish curricula, enriching our students’ worldview and promoting global citizenship.

See links to research & more resources below!

“…using authentic literary texts is to the benefit of the students as they are more
enjoyable and students find a chance to interact with the language and its use.”

Beresova, J. (2015). Authentic Materials – Enhancing Language Acquisition and Cultural Awareness. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 192, 195-204. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.06.028

“…decolonizing pedagogy […] sets out to assist students to actively reflect, critique and work against the existing forms of discrimination and exploitation in the United States while simultaneously preparing them for the concrete exigencies of its educational
and/or professional spaces.”

Buttaro, L. (2010). DECOLONIZING PEDAGOGY IN THE AMERICAN CLASSROOM. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 15(1).

“… we acquire language when we understand what we hear or read. Our mastery of the individual components of language (“skills”) is the result of getting comprehensible input.”

Krashen, S. (2017, July). The Case for Comprehensible Input. Language Magazine.

“Good biliteracy is important in the same ways that good literacy is, but biliteracy is special. On an economic level, biliteracy can translate into employment benefits and differential pay in the right settings. On a global level, being biliterate can increase multi-cultural understanding.”

Schwanenflugel, P. J., & Flanagan Knapp, N. (2016, October 12). Not Just Bilingual-Biliterate! Retrieved August 11, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reading-minds/201610/not-just-bilingual-biliterate

“The rich language found in authentic materials provides a source of input language learners need for acquisition.”

Use of Authentic Texts in Language Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved August 11, 2020, from https://www.actfl.org/resources/guiding-principles-language-learning/use-authentic-texts-language-learning

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