You and your students have all bid farewell, settled into summer, and are taking a well deserved break. In the back of our minds, however, we know that our students’ Spanish will lose its spark if they stop practicing completely!
Even if you have sent them off with great resources to practice with, language is interactive. We need another person to speak to! Are your students really going to stare into a computer screen and get the same quality practice as they would by conversing with another person?
Take a look at my top 5 places for your students to practice their Spanish this summer:
There’s no excuse to NOT practice here! Even if there are no other Spanish-speakers in their home, the student can be the teacher! Teaching their family a few simple phrases will both increase retention for them and give them other people to practice with.
Restaurant or Café
If there are other neighbors or friends that are also practicing their Spanish, get together for some lunch! Try to stay in the target language and help each other practice.
Skype, Facetime or Google Hangout
The world we live in today knows no limits! Getting together with a group of friends or with a native speaker via webcam is a great compromise to the real thing. Unlike a conversation over the phone, a webcam still provides the visual cues of hand gestures, facial reactions, and eye contact.
Local Restaurant or Market
There is a strong Latino presence in the United States! If you have the option, find a local Latino restaurant or market and take a shot at practicing your Spanish! Most students get intimidated when approaching a real-world situation, but know that just making the effort goes a long way.
Traveling will always be my #1 choice. There is nothing that opens a student’s mind like traveling the world and exposing themselves to new cultures and experiences. Traveling also provides the opportunity for complete language immersion!
Remember that language practice will never be limited to where you are! Encourage students to find ways that work best for them and to have fun!