Structuring a 30 min World Language Class...ready, set, go! - Island Teacher

Structuring a 30 min World Language Class...ready, set, go!

As THE Spanish teacher at a small, private school, I teach a wide age range. I'm currently teaching Spanish to grades 2-10. I see my elementary classes for 30 minutes, one day a week. I sometimes feel like I'm spinning my wheels because we spend a lot of time recapping previous material and it often seems that we move at a slow pace with new material. I thought I'd share an example play by play of 30 minutes in one of my elementary Spanish classes!

Structuring a 30 minute world language class; tips and resources.

Min 1-2 Students enter, greet me at the door (Hola, Buenos días, etc) as they pass by to their seats. I have my students keep folders which they leave in my room. I may hand these out now or wait until later in the lesson depending on what we're doing.
Min 3-5 Oral Review Practice: This may be a Q&A ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo te llamas?, etc. We may do a few quick rounds of "I Spy": "Yo veo algo (insert color)" to review colors or we may count around the room.
Min 6-9 Singing: Songs are a great way to teach and reinforce vocabulary. Calico Spanish Songs on YouTube are elementary geared and can be found in a variety of topics. I project these onto the SmartBoard and students sing along. I generally will choose a song or 2 over a topic we have covered or we may learn a new song to introduce a new topic.
Min 10-15 Direct Instruction: This past week we began going over La Familia vocabulary. I showed a PowerPoint on basic family words with graphics. Student practiced pronouncing the words and filled in a vocabulary sheet as we went through the slides. This sheet gets added to their folders.
Min 16-25 Activity/Game: This week, my lower elementary classes are making La Familia vocabulary books, so they began coloring their templates and adding the correct word to the pictures. My upper elementary classes began a family tree diagram from my Mi Familia de Superhéroes set.

While I created this packet for my secondary students, I've found that, with slight adapting, I can use it with my 4th graders on up. They write the appropriate label on each family member and assign a name to each character. Next class, we'll use the diagrams to do some basic oral practice. ¿Cómo se llama la madre? ¿Cómo se llama la hermana? etc.
Min 26-30 Clean up, collect folders, vocabulary recap, final song, line up, back to class....BREATHE! :) 

Do you have short language classes? I would love to hear how you structure these! 


  1. Hi there, thanks for the info on structuring a language class ! I teach french but I am close to the of my career. I just thought I write to let you know where I am right now in Canada it is blowing snow and -27 c I envy your location. Take care and blessings

  2. Thanks for reading! The majority of the teachers at my school are Canadian. :) I guess they needed to escape those frigid winters. After being here for almost 3 years, it's a bit hard to remember cold temperatures! Good luck enduring!

  3. I also teach at a small private school, but do have other Spanish teachers for MS and US classes. I've taught them all, although this year I'm teaching the 3 yo-4th grade Spanish (and a MS and US yearbook classes). I structure my classes pretty much the same way, the class enters and sits on the carpet. On the smartboard are the lyrics to our opening songs (greeting song, and 2-3 others going along with topic). There is also a calendar, needing the date added to it. We practice counting, the months of the year, days of the week and seasons. All of this takes 5-7 min. Very quick! I then usually have the information for the instruction on the board, with an interactive activity or sometimes a youtube video that goes along with it. Most of my "activities" are not pencil and paper, as it takes too much time to pass them out, etc. So we work on the smartboard or I have manipulatives to use on the carpet. I like to say "Different show every hour (actually 30 min.) because it often feels like a race through the day! I see the classes 3 times in a 7 day rotation, so it's super busy!


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