What to do With “I Don’t Get It”: Stage 2

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.  Our last blog discussed Stage 1: to Comprehend.  Today, we move on to Stage 2: to Recognize.


Stage 2: To Recognize

  • At this point, new material has been introduced and students are learning to use it correctly. This is where students can distinguish one item from the other when given a couple of choices.

What the teacher is doing:

  • Most speech is driven by the teacher.
  • The teacher is introducing questions instead of simply asking students to repeat.
  • Questions are “yes or no” questions (i.e. “Es_________?” “Sí/No”) or 50/50 questions (i.e. “¿es grande o pequeño?”)
  • The teacher is still prompting students with pictures and movements so that they can understand the question.

What the students are doing:

  • Students are still using pictures and movements to understand words and phrases.
  • Students use the anchors the teacher provides in order to understand and answer the question.

How you know students are ready to move on:

  • They are participating confidently.
  • They are consistently answering questions correctly.
  • They are able to answer questions without two choices or a yes/no prompt

How you know students need to go back down to the comprehension level:

  • They sound unsure when they are answering questions
  • They consistently answer questions wrong.
  • They don’t answer at all or simply answer with “I don’t know.”

Use the stages to recognize when some of your students may just need more time to comprehend! Keep your eyes out for our next blog, where we discuss how to move on to stage 3: to recall.