Hermanos: surprisingly comprehensible

Scaffolding a high-interest authentic video:

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Hermanos is a 7 minute rant in Spanish by youtube sensation “Hola Soy Germán”. It is surprisinglyholasoygerman comprehensible if you scaffold the video with a short previewing conversation (in Spanish, of course) about brotherhood. I drew a Venn diagram on the board and labeled one side “hermanos mayores” and the other side “hermanos menores“. We brainstormed a bit (common student contributions included fuerte, el jefe & enfadoso for the hermano mayor and mentiroso, bebé and el favorite de mamá for the hermano menor; it was widely agreed that both older and younger brothers cannot be trusted and that they steal from each other). I asked about the stereotypes concerning middle siblings and then verified through a class poll that, a pesar del estereotipo, all of the middle children in our classes are well-loved at home and at school.  🙂

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If your students don´t have words like enfadoso or mandón at the tips of their tongues, but those are the things that they want to say, then write a story to teach the words that they want. My students were excited to learn how to say “no me mientas“, but not so excited to learn “quisiera pagar con tarjeta de crédito“. In fact, although mentir is an allegedly “difficult verb”, the former expression shows up frequently on student quick writes whereas the latter has never EVER been voluntarily regurgitated. I follow my students’ interests because they are much more likely to become life-long learners of Spanish if they can say what they want to say.

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My Spanish 2 students were busting out laughing at this video, and several came up to me afterward to marvel at how much they understood. Very empowering! Just before viewing the video I pulled out an empty can of an energy drink that I had previously consumed and asked how many students drink that kind of stuff. They may not have been able to understand bebida energética without the prop, but with the prop it was just casual conversation. Casual conversation that helped them understand the beginning of the video.

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A few caveats: As you watch this for the first time don´t worry about the first few seconds… he slows down. Also consider not showing the last few minutes when he talks about the brother with an attractive sister…  comprehensible but maybe not school appropriate. If you embed the video into a powerpoint then you can set the timings to avoid the first few disorienting seconds and the last minute or two… and the students won´t ever know what they didn´t see.  Click here to see the youtube video.

2 comments

  1. Check out the website tubechop.com. You can cut down YouTube videos so they start and stop at different points, perfect for cutting out the end or beginning of a video! Thanks for sharing!

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