What to do With “I Don’t Get It”: Stage 1

We saw the answer of what to do with “I don’t get it” in our last blog post.  In this blog series, I’ll be breaking down each stage in the Spanish Curriculum Stages of Teaching and Learning by introducing what it is, outlining teaching strategies for each stage, describing what the students are doing at each stage, and telling you how to determine when students need to review or are ready to move on.


Stage 1: To Comprehend

  • This is usually where we begin our teaching and students begin their learning of a new lesson.  Students have little to no prior experience with the material and we are making a direct connection to the new material.

What the teacher is doing:

  • All speech is driven by the teacher.
  • The teacher is only focusing on the word or phrase that they are introducing and practicing with students. They are repeating the word or phrase three times.  Teachers are not inserting extra words! Students need all the focus and practice they can get when building vocabulary.
  • The teacher is over enunciating.  You should feel your cheekbones moving!  Students need to see not only the letters of how the word is spelled, but they should also see how the word should be leaving their mouth.
  • The teacher is connecting the new word or phrase to a picture and a movement.

What the students are doing:

  • Students are engaged with their eyes on both the teacher’s mouth in order to establish pronunciation and on the visual prompt in order to make the connection between the sound and the symbol.
  • Students are only being asked to repeat words and movements while keeping their eyes on the teacher.

How you know students are ready to move on:

  • They are participating confidently.
  • They are saying the word without needing a prompt from you to repeat it

Keep your eyes out for our next blog, where we discuss how to move on to stage 2: to recognize.