Information about the Juan y Rosa method for learning Spanish
Part 1 of this method for learning Spanish can be started in Key Stage 2 of primary education and is useful as a way of allowing each pupil to learn at their own level and pace in the classroom. Pupils can work together in pairs. This method can also be used to teach Spanish in a traditional classroom setting. Gifted children can also start with the part aimed at the youngest target group, “Soy Don Toro” (part 0), during Key Stage 1. More information about this can be found under the heading 'Soy Don Toro' and in the 'Levels' section.
The aim of this comprehensive learning method is to let children experience how much fun it can be to learn a foreign language: Spanish. Furthermore, this learning method gives pupils an extra chance to discover and develop their own learning strategy, which will also be beneficial in other subjects. In line with the TASC (Thinking Actively in a Social Context) model, they learn to reflect on and evaluate their own approach to learning.
This method is based on a lot of variety and includes puzzles, open-ended exercises, drama exercises and conversation exercises. Since a number of exercises in the workbook also make use of the internet, the learning method is very accessible and unrestricted which greatly appeals to fast-learning pupils. Based on the TASC model by Belle Wallace, London, gifted or more able pupils (see Nace) learn Spanish at their own pace and level, with the teacher/supervisor merely guiding each pupil through the learning process. While having a teacher/supervisor who is proficient in Spanish is a bonus for the gifted pupils, it is not essential for them in this learning method. However, it is of greater importance for other pupils.
A number of key points:
- For gifted children, it is possible to start with Part 0 during Key Stage 1. Part 0 comprises a workbook, lots of audiovisual material on the internet and a manual for the supervisor (who does not need to be proficient in Spanish).
- The method for Key Stage 2 pupils is made up of two parts, each of which comprises: a textbook, a workbook, a book of solutions and 2 CDs. The workbook is the most important element in the method. It comprises more than 150 pages of exercises, songs and puzzles which encourage the pupil to work and play with the Spanish language. The essence of the method lies in the fact that pupils will learn Spanish by working and playing with the language and that grammar is of lesser importance at this stage. The workbook therefore takes precedence over the textbook, which comprises 45 pages of learning material.
- The bull called Don Toro helps the children to work their way through the book independently.
- The pupils can test and evaluate themselves and each other. Each chapter of the workbook starts with a one-page overview so that the teacher can monitor the pupil’s work and support their progress.
- Providing they have access to a CD player, the children can complete the listening exercises on their own too.
- The sections of text in the textbook are presented in dialogue format, and the exercises in the workbook challenge the children to engage in similar conversations.
- The children learn a Spanish song in each chapter and they are also inspired to act out scenes in Spanish.
- The children are encouraged to maintain their own language portfolio and this should be stimulated by the teacher too.
- The learning method is interactive. Pupils can send emails to Don Toro and ask him questions or chat with him in Spanish. They can also come into contact with him and other pupils on Twitter (@Don_Toro_) and via the Juan y Rosa Facebook page.
- This website includes a number of games for download. These games (dominoes, bingo, memory, vocabulary game and sobre-mí game) are based on the vocabulary from Part 1 of Juan y Rosa. The website also already includes a few games based on Part 2. Pupils periodically receive a newsletter which encourages them to interact with one another in Spanish. Each edition of the newsletter also includes information about a Spanish-speaking country.
- The same newsletter contains the latest tips and information for teachers/supervisors. They can also share their reactions and experiences on Facebook by becoming friends with Rosa (facebook.com/rosadeespanja) and liking the Juan y Rosa Facebook page. Furthermore, they can stay up to date on the latest Juan y Rosa developments via Twitter (@Don_Toro_).
- For more information about this learning method please refer to the manual for teachers/supervisors and the special manual for pupils. Both manuals can be downloaded from this website under the heading Downloads.