Many educators believe that field trips provide opportunities for learning and reinforcing learned material that classroom learning does not offer. Field trips can increase students’ motivation to learn and increase their perception of learning as a positive activity. Spanish teachers can reinforce their students’ learning by planning creative and innovative field trips to sites that connect their students with the Spanish language and culture.
Take the students to see a Spanish-language theater performance. The Hispanic community produces and stages Spanish-language plays throughout the United States, giving Spanish students opportunities to attend performances that will challenge their abilities to understand Spanish spoken in a cultural venue. Depending on the level of the students’ Spanish abilities, the teacher may wish to review the play before the field trip, perhaps even reading the script with the students so that they come to the performance well-prepared to enjoy the play.
Spanish Immersion School
Visit a local Spanish immersion school. Immersion schools teach foreign languages by immersing the students in the language from the first day of class. These schools provide classroom instruction by teaching all subjects in the immersion language. Children can more easily learn a second language by acquisition, similarly to the manner in which children acquire their native language--through immersion into its day-to-day usage. Immersion schools build on this theory, allowing children to learn a second language in a natural setting by living their school day surrounded by the second language. A coordinated field trip between the Spanish class and the Spanish immersion school can motive the students to find new ways to improve their Spanish studies.
Organize a volunteer activity in a community center, old-age home or nursing home that works with a large Spanish-speaking population. Ask the staff to instruct the clients or residents beforehand to speak only Spanish with the students. Many institutions plan Bingo games and other activities for their residents, and invite volunteers in to assist the residents. If the residents and clients speak to the students only in Spanish, the students will have no choice but to stretch their Spanish skills to accommodate the people whom they have come to help.