Project Proves Students’ Understanding of Spanish

By Maqadus Sakhi ’19 

Lights, camera, action! Students of Ms. Emma Peral’s Spanish 6 classes were tasked to write a movie review.  Students were asked to focus on any movie that they have seen and write a movie review in Spanish.

The purpose of the project was to integrate all the vocabulary and structures seen in class about movies and moviemaking. The project was created by the World Language Department in order  to be implemented in all Spanish 6 classes.

“As language teachers, we always try to incorporate activities students can relate to and make sense of in the world in which we live,” said Ms. Peral. “I think this activity can be classified as such. In my experience, students love to go to the movies and talk about them afterwards.”

The movie review was broken up into three different paragraphs: introductory, body and conclusion. The introductory paragraph consisted of background information, such as the names of the director, actors and actresses; the genre of the movie; and the release date. The body paragraph had to focus on the storyline of the movie and other aspects, such as photography, soundtrack and any scene that had a significant impact, either negatively or positively.

“I enjoyed the project, it helped integrate and present the vocabulary in a fun way,” said Graciela Rosas ’19. “The project forced me to recall previous vocabulary and conjugations.”

The review also required an explanation of whether the movie was an overall success or failure. The concluding paragraph summarized all the thoughts about the movie by asking students to state whether they would  recommend the movie it or not and why. The students were given 30 minutes to complete the in-class project.

“I think having only 30 minutes helps students to write under testing conditions which is an important component in the Spanish LOTE.” said Shuyi Deng ’19.

For the student’s convenience,  notes consisting of vocabulary related to movies and the Avancemos Level 2 Spanish textbook was allowed. However, the students were not allowed to use their phones or Google Translate.

After the students finished writing their reviews, they exchanged papers with their peers and were then given a rubric. Following the rubric, students fixed any mistakes they saw and checked for any missing components. Once the students reviewed each other’s papers, they were then given 15 minutes to rewrite the review.

“I think peer review is very important, especially in Spanish because there are several different ways of expressing an idea and by reading other people’s paper you can learn of a more efficient way to say that same idea. Peer review also improves grammar, which in Spanish can be tricky.” said Brianna Chen ’20.

At the end of the year, Spanish 6 classes will have to take the Language Other Than English (LOTE) exam. The LOTE is administered in two parts, the speaking portion and the written portion. In the speaking portion, which is scheduled by the school, students will be expected to have a full conversation with the teacher using complex sentences.

The second part is the written portion, which tests reading and listening comprehension. This  portion will require the  listening and reading of sample passages, followed by a series of multiple-choice questions about them. This portion also contains a writing section with a prompt to answer. According to, the written portion of all LOTE exams will be administered at 1:15 p.m. on Monday, June 18, 2018.

“The activity was not intended to prepare students directly for the LOTE, but undoubtedly it can help them a great deal for the test,” said Ms. Peral.

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