Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Today is a Special Edition of Wednesday's Resources to highlight resources related to Cinco de Mayo.

Here's 5 resources for 5 de Mayo

1. Spanish Culture: Cinco de Mayo - What Would Benito Juarez Do?

In this interactive lesson, students take on the role of Benito Juarez as he makes critical decisions in history that lead to the Battle commemorated by Cinco de Mayo in this "Choose Your Own Adventure" inspired Power Point Presentation.

2. Informative CINCO DE MAYO Webquest! - English version or Spanish Version

Students will find out the true story about "Cinco de mayo," including what it's actually about, who truly celebrates it, and why Mexican-Americans in the United States usually celebrate it more than people in Mexico!

3. Stop Throwing Fiestas for Cinco de Mayo: a blog post explaining the importance, or rather, lack-thereof, of this "holiday"

4. "Cinco de Drinko" Includes a calendar of actual Mexican holidays, Free Hispanics in the USA info sheet, authentic tweets and more.

5. Rethinking Cinco de Mayo
Article by Sudie Hofmann explores stereoytpes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teacher Resources 4/29

It's Wednesday. That means its time for another posting of awesome foreign language resources. This week's theme is social media.

Spanish Social Media Products:

Students create their own 'Facebook' profile page that describes themselves in Spanish. This 'perfil' will include students writing about themselves, giving: name, origin, birthdate, favorite activities, hobbies, movies, tv shows, comments from 'friends' and more.

Includes list for common vocabulary/terminology used by Facebook. Spanish speakers will usually talk about their "face" in reference to their "feisbuk"

Instagram Project Family Tree for World Language
This project gives the traditional World Language Family Tree project a much needed facelift! Instead of creating a photo album of family members, students will instagram about their family! Includes:
1. Teacher Info Page: includes ACTFL Standards met!
2. Student Info Handout: includes rubric and an example in Spanish 3. Instagram Template for the Students' Accounts
4. Instagram Templates for the Students' Posts: includes two versions for pictures size 4"x6" as well as two other template for other picture sizes. 
See also Instagram Project for Dream House
You can have students use it in class by filling in their own information in Spanish, or if you read a story (like La Tumba or Pobre Ana) you could have students fill this in with information about what's happening in the book! This is probably an assignment best for individual work.

This blank profile feed is modeled after the new "Twitter" layout that your students are using right now.
Pinteresante - Pinterest board for Spanish Class:
Students "pin" information about a country.  There are seven spaces for pins – all pin spaces include a picture area (could be hand drawn or printed off), a section to add information about the cultural item chosen, and a “pinneado de” at the bottom to list the source where they obtained their info!

Using Instagram as Authenic Language in Spanish Class
This product contains a powerpoint with 28 authentic images, and gives you over 5 ways to incorporate them into your class. Also includes a student handout of the powerpoint, as well as a folder full of the 28 images.

French Social Media Products:

French Facebook Timeline Student Profile

This is a 4-page printable French Facebook template.

It is UP-TO-DATE so that it is familiar for students and consistent with what they already know. The template includes details such as space for a cover photo, timeline, recent places, friends, family, and interests such as favourite books and movies. It can be used as a get to know you activity for the beginning of the school year, to introduce new vocabulary or as a supply teacher day plan.

Tweeting French Adverbs
Searching for a way to teach French adverbs? Use this activity where students read tweets with particular adverbs, create a "tweet" in class on a sticky note (and tweet it on Twitter if they choose) and then search Twitter for tweets they can understand using any adverb ending in -ment. \

Can be used it in French III, but it would be appropriate for II if that's when you teach adjectives, or as a review in IV and AP.

French Twitter - Daily Tweet
This is a French twitter page that can be used as bell work, or a quick daily journal activity. There is a spot for the date, and a small box for a daily tweet, where the students write a quick sentence using a sentence starter. The large full page template can be laminated and used to write the sentence starter. It is also included. Tweets should be short (max 140 characters)

German Social Media Products:
The German Sektor blog tells about how she incorporates twitter into her classroom. Read about it here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Freebies 4/28


Freebies for Monday, April 28
Featuring Vocabulary, vocab, vocabulario

Vocabulary Hint Template 
This template is a tool that educators can use to help students draw connections between words they already know and words they are trying to learn in a fun way. Students find it helps them remember new vocabulary. This is a very flexible product than can be used in any language classroom.

Spanish 1 - En Espanol 1 - Unidad 3 Etapa 2 Preview Guide

This "preview guide" does a really great job of setting the tone for the upcoming lesson. It allows students to exercise many critical thinking skills including making connections to past material, drawing from previous experiences, and making predictions. I have made a "preview guide" for each of the Unidades and find them very helpful. 

Fiches d'activités au Jardin
Free French worksheet

Lyrics for teaching the house vocabulary in Spanish 1 or 2.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Question of the Week 2

Thursdays on Language Teachers' Café we bring you a guest blog post, a feature on a WL teacher, hot topics in World Language, or, this week, a Question of the Week answered by our panel of teachers.

This week's questions was:
What is your favorite website for students to practice the language inside or out of class?

  • - a free language-learning text translation website and app.
  • - Online flashcards
  • Spanish grammar, vocab, verbs
  • Zambombazo - "Una variada oferta de actividades divertidas basadas en obras culturales (canciones, tiras cómicas, carteles de cine, publicidad, arte, etc.) en las que se pretende aprender por descubrimiento sobre el idioma español y las culturas del mundo hispanohablante."
  • Digital - A variety of topics for French language learners using iPads.
  • Spanish Language and Culture with Barbara Kuczun Nelson - You may remember this site titled Spanish Grammar Exercises, it has lots of great practice.
  • - practicing conjugations
  • - "easy and fun way to learn and improve your foreign languages skills, through the music videos and the lyrics of your favorite songs"

Websites submitted by:
German Sektor
World Language Café
Spanish Sundries
Madame H 

What do you do in your classroom? Share with us in the comments below!

Music Tips for the Language Classroom

Hola! I’m Caroline Marion, a retired teacher who enjoyed using music in my Spanish, French and
ESL classes. I have a few tips I’d like to share with you to help you jazz up your classes. Face the music, the repetition required to learn a foreign language can get downright boring.

Why use music to teach a foreign language?  Music makes learning more fun and memorable. Through songs we can work on pronunciation, phrasing, and informal speech.  Use familiar songs, folk songs, or short melodies to help memorize information.  Choose a melody that is easy to remember.  Below are examples of tunes I’ve used.

Sing Spanish days of the week to the tune of Fray Felipe.
Lunes, martes, lunes, martes
Miércoles, miércoles
Jueves, viernes, jueves, viernes
Sábado, domingo

The phrase “Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta, no llores” (from Cielito Lindo) helped my Spanish students remember that the affirmative “tú” command drops the “s” but the negative command retains the “s” and changes the ending from “–as” to“-es” on “–ar ending verbs”. I had my students memorize this phrase.  When test  time came around, they could hum the melody to remember the rule.

La Bamba can help drill the use of por/para. I used El Condor Pasa (sung by Claudia de Colombia) to drill the future tense.

My favorite song for ESL students is Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter from Camp)  - (Allan Sherman) My students liked this funny song and asked me to play it more than once.  Use it at the end of the school year.  Talk about summer camps and ask about your students’ summer plans.

For French holidays like Bastille Day, July 14th, sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise and on Jan. 6th, Three Kings’ Day, sing La Marche Des Rois.

I was never surprised by the number of musically talented students that signed up for French.  No doubt they were drawn to the language that is music to one’s ears. Why not involve your musically talented students and ask them to make up raps to help learn information (vocabulary, grammar rules and verb conjugations)? Make your own kind of music!

You can also use songs for listening comprehension.  Make a copy of the song and delete some of the words for a fill in the blank activity.  Focus on vocabulary, verbs or grammar concepts you wish to drill.  As students listen to the song, they fill in as many blanks as they can. Go over the song and help them with any responses they missed.  Then, sing the song.

To drill parts of speech, have students circle any part of speech you wish to target that appears several times in the chosen song:  verbs (command forms, past tense, future tense, present perfect), nouns, and adjectives. If you want to target more than one part of speech, have students underline, circle and put at X through target words.

ESL teachers might be interested in my freebie, Songs My ESL Teacher Taught Me.

Hope these tips strike the right note with you. Now go for it and have more fun teaching with music!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WL Resources 4/23

It's Wednesday. That means its time for another posting of awesome foreign language resources. Today we feature Spanish and Italian.

Spanish Culture: Cinco de Mayo - What Would Benito Juarez Do?
Are you sick of your students asking to have a party for Cinco de Mayo when they have no idea what they would be celebrating? In this interactive lesson, students take on the role of Benito Juarez as he makes critical decisions in history that lead to the Battle commemorated by Cinco de Mayo in this "Choose Your Own Adventure" inspired Power Point Presentation.

Fiesta de San Fermin Activities

Need a fun end of year activity or sub plan? What’s up with the Running of the Bulls? Students find out through a reading, trivia game, mini-poster and more.
Spanish Spring Conversation or Task Cards
Get students writing and speaking about the season! Included in this set are 30 questions on cards. All questions start with the phrase "En la primavera..."
EX: En la primavera...¿Cuáles deportes pueden practicar los estudiantes?"
These cards can be used as either writing or speaking activities. They are very versatile and can be used as warm-ups, stations, or class games.

Spanish Mothers Day Book-Feliz dia de la madre libro
 This is a 5 page book that students will make for their mothers in Spanish. Activities include writing an ode poem, chores gift page, all about my mother, and photo frame with poem. When students have the book complete they decorate it and bring it home to mom as a special gift

Newspaper reading & comprehension activities - example in Italian

Newspaper response for LOTE students
• 19 pages of activities with sample news articles in Italian
• Please note: news articles are sourced from the Internet as an example text. Students can use color coded version or blank and white version to color code themselves.

Groups will research a Hispanic country in South or Central America. The student project includes a presentation board, map, travel brochure, and flag. Rubric is detailed but this file is a Word file so the buyer can EDIT any part of the project or rubric to their satisfaction.

Students must research their information and cite sources. This project is great for middle school or high school Spanish classes looking to teach about the countries and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Can be used for another other country project as well (social studies, geography classes, other language classes)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Foreign Language Freebies 4/21

Top 5 Freebies for week of April 21, 2014:
All of the following resources are available for FREE on All you need to do is to register as a user and you will have access to tens of thousands of FREE items as well as amazing teacher created lessons. This week we feature 3 Spanish resources, 1 French, and 1 German.

Cinco de Mayo Writing Prompt Task Card FREEBIE by Island Teacher

Help your students investigate more about the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo. Included in this set are 4 writing prompts where students must write from the perspective of a historical figure about the events surrounding Cinco de Mayo. Also included is a writing response template which students can use to write their responses. These cards will work well for Spanish (advanced students can even respond in the target language), History or English classes.

La Salle de Classe Differentiated Instruction by Madame H

This free download for French includes a word search puzzle using vocabulary terms for items found in a classroom. Students must identify the indefinite article that correlates to each item and then find the word. There is also a Tic-Tac-Toe activity where students choose 3 boxes to complete various tasks working with the verb avoir, classroom items, and basic questions in French. 


Spanish Culture: Spanish-Speaking Country Mnemonics by Spanish Sundries

A pair of sayings (mnemonics) to assist students in learning the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America as well as labeling them on a map. 



German Months of the Year Calendar Pocket Chart Toppers FREEBIE by Open Wide the World

Bold German color scheme and cute graphics, to display the months of the year in your German classroom. Also includes the years 2013-15. Great for your bulletin board or for when you write the date on your board.

Spanish -ER/IR Verb Game - La Maestra dice by I Speak Your Language

Challenge students to repeat sentences filling in the "blank" trying to "match" the teacher. They score one point if they match the teacher. When all students have written down a word, each student quickly says the sentence with their word choice. Then the teacher repeats the sentence with his or her word choice. La maestra (El maestro) dice: “Mi padre bebe una taza de café.

Check out our all freebie posts.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Question of the Week

Thursdays on Language Teachers' Café we bring you a guest blog post, a feature on a WL teacher, hot topics in World Language, or, this week, a Question of the Week answered by our panel of teachers.

This week's questions was:
What is your favorite activity to use when you have 5 extra minutes at the end of a class?

Spanish Sundries says:
  1. Spanish-speaking Country Trivia! I develop a bank of questions and ask a few at the end of class.
  2. Four Square: Students fold a piece of paper into 4 boxes and write a vocabulary word in each. I choose 4 words at random and the student who matches the most wins.
  3. Yo espío - I choose an item and students ask yes or no questions in Spanish to guess what it is.
@nellyanhug says:
One student takes a card with the picture of an object, person, place, animal, etc.
Option 1- A student describes the picture in the target language using circumlocution. Students who guesses correctly is the next one to talk.
Option 2- One Student looks at a picture and the rest of the class tries to guess what it is by asking questions (can be any kind of questions or just yes/no questions). Student who guesses is next. 

German Sektor says:
Lingo is a great end of class game - pick any five letter word in the target language and have students try to guess what it is. They have five chances to guess correctly. For each of their guesses, you circle letters that are in the word but not the correct spot AND you put boxes around letters that are in the correct spot. Works with any language! For more detail and examples: check out her post!

SpanishPlans says:
If I have just a few minutes I'll pull up a music video on Youtube. Sometimes I'll pull up an official video, but a lot of the time I will pull up a lyric video. Kids not only get to hear a catchy tune, but they get to hear and see words. If a vocabulary word or phrase comes up, I can ask the class if they remember what it means. A lot of artists, such as Jesse & Joy, now post their own lyric videos.

@MaestraMc says:
Serpiente: each student says a word in a serpentine fashion around the seating arrangement. The next word must begin with the last letter of the previous word. Extra time? Make it go back again so each student is up to bat twice! No repeats. This helps students be quick on their feet with recall.

Rachel Frenkil @frenkilstein says:
If I'm trying to kill time, I'll pull up a video in Spanish about the country we're studying, like a tourist video or short film. Though I don't assess, it's time where the students can listen to an authentic accent, learn something cultural and work on their listening comprehension (i.e., it's okay if you don't understand every word).

Julie from Open Wide the World says:
"Qui suis-je?" or "¿Quién soy?" is a fun, quick filler game. One student thinks of a famous person (or selects a person from a stack of images you may have on hand, cut from magazines, etc). Classmates ask questions to determine who he/she is. Questions can be yes/no, or open ended, depending on the proficiency level of the class. Alternatively, the student can give clues about who he/she is. This is always fun. Students barely realize it's work!

Madame H shares:
I like to play Improv Monologues or Improv Dialogues with students. I will offer a Baggie or cup with various ideas in it, set a timer, and make the students use the target language until the buzzer goes off. This activity usually makes the entire class laugh. Especially when someone chooses the option to imitate the teacher! It's definitely fun!

Other ideas shared with us:
  • Question & answer chain with ball toss.
  • "Around the World": Have 2 students stand up and ask them a question or for a translation. The first to answer correct wins and moves on. The loser sits down. As the winner works his/her way around the classroom, they end up sitting in whatever desk they lost to. The person who goes the farthest wins.
What do you do in your classroom? Share with us in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WL Products

Every other Wednesday, we plan to post great resources for World Language teachers. Sure, everyone loves a freebie (which is why we host Freebies on Mondays), however we also value the work that educators do. The prices you will find on products from are way better than those you would find from teacher catalogs, plus all the money goes to hard working teachers rather than big corporations.
These products take hours and hours to create and are created by teachers in the real world creating products for students. We value the hard work and dedication of these teachers.

Here are our Top 5 Foreign Language Resources for the Week of April 16, 2014:

Bouge Avec Les Chiffres by Madame H:
An active game in which French students race to create numbers as they are heard. The teacher will read a number aloud and students recreate them with number cards. There are 5 different games.

Foreign Language Vocabulary Task Cards 20 Activities by Island Teacher:
This packet contains 20 different task card activities for students to practice vocabulary. The packet is all in English, so it can be used with vocabulary in any foreign language classroom (Spanish, French, German, Italian, etc.). Great for differentiation and student choice.

Spanish Stories: Justo Castor - Superestrella Series & Activity Kit by Spanish Sundries:
This kit of original stories includes all 5 episodes of the "Justo Castor - Superestrella" (a story about Justin Bieber) series as well as 15 activities, 3 per episode. (60 pages total). Your students will enjoy examining the preterit and imperfect tenses, object pronouns, the future tense, gerunds AND learn loads of new vocabulary without even realizing they are working!

Spanish Rhyming Words las rimas for Dual Language by Open Wide the World:
This Spanish Rhyming Words - las rimas packet targets 24 words (12 word pairs) across 4 activities. Lots of ways to target this important phonological awareness & early reading component!
For Spanish Dual Language Immersion programs or Spanish as a foreign language teachers: no English on student pages!

World Language Review Games: 50 Games and Activities to Spice Up Your Classroom by The World Language Café:
These World Language review games, activities, and ideas will put the fun back into your classroom. Teach your students the target language while: designing T-shirts, enjoying authentic food at your own language cafe, playing classroom sports, singing songs, writing fairy tales, acting out movies, and much more. Your students will learn a ton, but won't even notice because they'll be having such a blast. This product includes over 50 games, activities, and ideas and over 30 pages of materials.

Monday, April 14, 2014

WL Freebies

Welcome to our first Monday of Free World Language Resources. We hope to be sure to share with you every week some wonderful resources to use in your foreign language class.... and best of all, they are FREE. Let's get to it!


Today's edition has 4 Spanish Resources, 2 French Resources, and 1 for any language class.


Spanish Lesson Plan Template

Harry Potter Sub Plan

French Months of the Year Calendar Toppers

Passé Composé contre Imparfait Cooperative Learning Activity

Student Self-Evaluation:
Pass these self-evaluation surveys out to students to help them understand what they can be doing better in class to improve their grades and their study habits.

Resources provided by: SpanishPlans, Elissa Garcia, Sra Dentlinger, Open Wide the World, The World Language Café, Spanish Sundries, and Madame H.

Check back next Monday for even more FREE resources.

Thursday, April 10, 2014



Welcome to the Language Teachers' Cafe. We are a group of World Language teachers who are eager to connect with other foreign language teachers across the globe and share places. We want this to be a place where you can come and meet with other teachers, sit down with a cup of café, and find resources for your classroom.

We are a group of 14 teachers, and growing. We represent grades 6-12 in the subjects of Spanish, French, German, and elementary grades in Spanish. You can visit our blogs or our stores from TeachersPayTeachers. A few of our have facebook pages (which are listed on the right side of this page) and we'd love you to "like us". And if you are a pinterest person, check out our boards as well.

On Mondays, we plan to post FREE RESOURCES that you can download.

On Wednesday, we plan to post TEACHER RESOURCES that are available for purchase (at prices way less than publishers) that have taken hours to create so you can spend that time on other areas in your life.

On Thursday, we plan to post SPECIAL POSTS about topics that are interesting to you! Be on the look out to see how our members answer questions about topics that affect our classroom and our teaching.

Don't miss a thing. Sign up to receive emails any time we publish a new post. Enter your email in the top right of this page to subscribe to Language Teachers' Cafe.