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MISS THE TARGET - THE VIDEO LECTURE
MISS THE TARGET - THE PRACTICE APP
THE FONDAMENTOS PROGRAM - OVERALL IMPRESSIONS
COMING IN FALL 2021! Note that we are planning step 4 for fall 2021 - diacritical accents! After students master prosodic and orthographic accents (which can be accomplished right away with this method for natives and non-natives alike), diacritical accents are a breeze.
COMING IN 2022! Note that we are planning step 5 for 2022 - formal hyphenation! We will be using the same system of shapes and colors to make hyphenation easy, but after they master prosodic and orthographic accents.
HIT THE TARGET - THE VIDEO LECTURE
The traditional approach to accentuation requires the previous mastery of formal syllabification, in other words, formal hyphenation rules.
In contrast, this method focuses on vowels: first, counting the beats rather than dividing syllables, and then finding the stressed vowel rather than the stressed syllable.
For this method, the formal rules of hyphenation are inconsequential to understand the prototypical stress pattern. In fact, the traditional approach to accentuation fails for many students precisely because they haven't previously mastered hyphenation.
HIT THE TARGET - THE PRACTICE APP
COUNT THE BEATS - THE VIDEO LECTURE
Many teachers we have surveyed believe that their students are not interested in the more technical aspects of Spanish.
However, the vast majority of students we have surveyed react positively, and common responses are something like, "I learned so much!" and "That was really helpful!"
Many teachers we have surveyed believe that learning about the language does not help to use the language proficiently.
Due to the ever-shortening average attention spans of our students and society in general, many teachers believe that video lessons should be at most 3 to 5 minutes and have to be entertaining.
We disagree! We think that students should actively practice watching longer video lectures that are informative and engaging, but not necessarily entertaining.
COUNT THE BEATS - THE PRACTICE APP
Many teachers have suggested that more 'gaming' elements (such as points, a final score, countdown clocks, etc.) would be an improvement.
We disagree! We have purposely avoided those in order to cultivate an appreciation of learning for learning's sake and to foster the student's sense of agency and self-reflection in the learning process.
SPANISH POSTER PROJECT 2022
The browser-based practice apps are appropriate for all ages, as young as first grade!
However, the video lessons themselves are appropriate for older students, generally junior high and above. Assigning them as homework saves precious class time.
With the available PowerPoints and posters, the method is easily presented to younger students.
While there are a handful of diacritical accents (tú vives en tu casa), the primary purpose of written accents in Spanish is for pronunciation, specifically to show an atypical stress pattern.
Therefore, we think it is imperative that students master the typical (or prototypical) stress pattern first.
All elementary teachers of native Spanish-speaking children throughout the Spanish-speaking world (including here in the United States) are expected to teach the rules of accentuation as part of the general Artes del Lenguaje (Spanish Language Arts) curriculum.
In our survey of first-year language students at the start of their first course, over 90% percent had the very strong or somewhat strong expectation to learn and practice pronunciation. (Note that pronouncing a word incorrectly is different from having a foreign accent: of course, one can have a strong foreign accent and also have correct pronunciation!)
Over 70% considered pronunciation a very important or somewhat important skill, vital to communication, listening and speaking.
My Background Basics
By completing each step of this module over several weeks a little at a time, almost every st.