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#SpanStuChat

The most popular new option to our Choice Real World Homework this year has been #SpanStuChat. Spanish Student Chat was the great idea of Rebecca Huls (@rhulshuls) and Kara McNeese (@kmcneese1). As they state on their weebly #spanstuchat was created as a tool for students to take their learning from the classroom to the real world. This biweekly Twitter chat is meant for students and teachers of Spanish to get a chance to practice outside of school, and is an amazing opportunity for your students. I saw the #spanstuchat hashtag at the start of school, investigated it further and then added it as a 5 point community option for our Choice Real World Homework. (If they would like to earn all 5 points they must participate in real time and answer all questions).


a screenshot of #spanstuchat submitted for RW HW
#SpanStuChat occurs on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month from 8-9pm CST. It is a Q1, A1 format from teacher or student moderators, conducted completely in Spanish. I have had many students participate this year, from all levels, and most come back with an overwhelmingly positive experience. They are pleasantly surprised with how well that they can COMMUNICATE with people outside of their school. The love getting favorites and retweets from new people and are PROUD of things they said or learned. I try to drop in using my class twitter (@DBSpanish) if baby boy's bedtime allows and it is fun to chat with students outside of class in Spanish. Most students use their Spanish twitter account that they created on the first day of school, as well as use our #DBSpanish hashtag for easy look up later for me. teaching students to use TweetDeck or other feeds makes following along easier for those new to Twitter chats. 
a screenshot of #spanstuchat submitted for RW HW

Those who have participated have gained tremendously from their engagement in the chat. This week when the word "era" came up in a lesson, one student said "I know that word from #spanstuchat!" She participated the week where the topic was about childhood and got many repetitions of this form of the word "was." I had another student who told his friend he was not going to the basketball game because he wanted to do #spanstuchat! He was CHOOSING Spanish over a social function. 

Participating in #spanstuchat has both been a great learning experience for my students, but for me a well. At first I cringed when I would see an obvious grammar mistake from a student such as as "yo tiene" (I has) with the #DBSpanish hashtag attached. I would feel a slight pang of embarrassment thinking that other teachers would think less of me because my students do not always use proper grammar. But then I realized that they were PROUD because they were COMMUNICATING! I blogged recently about learning grammar versus communication and this is a great example. In a real world situation "yo tiene" still gets the point across. Is is correct? No, but in a fast paced conversation others understood and continued  to communicate. Now I would rather see a grammar mistake than a blatant translator because they are SHOWING WHAT THEY KNOW. 

If you are a Spanish teacher encourage your students to participate in #spanstuchat! The next one will be Tuesday, February 3rd 8-9pm CST & I hope to see you there!

3 comments

  1. As a regular #spanstuchat participant, I notice if kids make mistakes and then immediately forget because #spanstuchat is for fun and communication - I don't care! (Granted, I know I would cringe if it were one of my students too, haha. Mine are so busy, though, and I forget to remind them.) And honestly, I MUCH prefer to read the responses of kids who do it on their own and make mistakes than the ones that are clearly abusing poor google translate. Most people don't respond to those students because, turns out, their translated version usually makes zero sense. We teachers know that yo tiene will fix itself eventually. :)

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    Replies
    1. I agree & #spanstuchat is helping to remind me that the mistakes happen for those who are showing what they really know!

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  2. I linked this blogpost in to the one I just published tonight on this topic. I LOVE #spanstuchat and what it offers to students, even after they leave my classroom! http://languageisinfluence.blogspot.com/2016/01/spanstuchat.html

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