- Peer Review: “donde jugarán los niños”
donde jugarán los niños
- Oct 23, 2002 by World Languages
- Nelson?s guided reading module, ?Donde jugaran los ni?os,? is based on the song
by the same name performed by the rock group, Mana (Polynesian for "good
energy"). The song and the reading promote a message of global environmental
activism. Nelson also features Victor Cauduro Rojas? paintings, The Millennium
Series: Celebrating Stewardship to complement Mana?s message of activism. The
reading module is complemented by a grammar tutorial practice.
By the author of the award-winning Ojala que llueva cafe, this module presents
a lesson in Spanish on an ecological theme. In addition to all the cultural
information,it provides grammar review exercises on such topics as command
forms, the future,the present subjunctive and past participles used as
- Type of Material:
- Recommended Uses:
- The study module can stand alone as a unit of instruction to teach the four
skills either in a classroom setting or as independent study.
- Technical Requirements:
- Quicktime 3.0
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- The module develops listening and reading skills at an intermediate level of
proficiency. It also helps to develop comprehension using authentic texts
(music lyrics) and understanding Standard Spanish (Mexican Spanish). It also
expands the vocabulary base to include oral and written expression on a
universal topic. As a grammar tutorial, the site includes intermediate level
practice in using tu commands, future tense, present subjunctive, and past
- Target Student Population:
- The study module is best suited for students who have already completed the
first two semesters of elementary Spanish having covered the present
progressive, preterite, future and imperfect tenses.
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- The Spanish language student should be able to comprehend written and spoken
(sung) Spanish at an Intermediate proficiency level.
- This module is particularly enriched by its multisensory nature. The music is
lively and vibrant and the accompanying art work is vivid and very
thought-provoking.This module applies the principles of content-based language
learning while still providing the user with grammar pages for drill and
practice. The theme of global ecology serves not only to promote the strong
environmental message, but also to develop language skills via listening and
reading. The follow-up activities used to drill the grammar points further
enhance the theme by promoting ways of actively preserving the environment. The
universal theme allows for the unit to be used in lower or higher level
lasses,depending on the level of difficulty of the tasks assigned. The
use of a universal theme will appeal greatly to both younger and older adults
who often find limited topics at higher proficiency levels.
- It would be an enhancement to see more of the external links refer to sites in
the Spanish language. The author's intent clearly surpasses that of teaching
Spanish in that she wants the user to both learn about pollution and to see
that artists of Spanish expression care deeply about these issues. However the
majority of links are to English language ecology sites. An exception is
Greenpeace site, which has links to pages in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and
Bolivia. These Spanish language pages are great resources.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- The module is an excellent example of incorporating the use of Howard Gardner?s
Multiple Intelligences Theory. An instructor can create appeal from a variety
of learning perspectives.
Although several of the links for the music and art credits are in English, the
students can still access the popular culture of rock stars and Grammy
winners, and the teacher can create a variety of stimulating activities,
especially for younger learners. For example, the link to Conoce a Mana is an
excellent choice for developing expansion activities. The link can help to
describe biographical data, personal information, or musical interests.
The haunting pictures all lend themselves to develop not only narrations and
descriptions, but to explore expository writing as well. In turn, these themes
also lend themselves to discussions on points of view at the advance speaking
proficiency levels and above.
The lyrics lend themselves to the review of the preterite vs. the imperfect
tenses. The author?s link to her own Spanish Grammar Exercises allows the user
to review the ever-difficult past time in Spanish. Practice with using language
(commands) in a real life situation allows for quality learning.
There are many potential uses for this module in and out of the classroom. It
could be easily integrated in a chapter on the Environment or even as an Earth
Day activity. The art work can be projected on a large screen and could inspire
writing and speaking activities. The Mana song can be used as a springboard to
get students to bring in their favorite song on an ecology theme. Cross-cultural
comparisons could be made.
The grammar exercises on the future, present subjunctive and command forms use
the thematic vocabulary in order to preserve the ecology context.In this way,
the student does not feel like s/he is doing drills for grammar's sake. In
fact,the author includes links right in the middle of grammar questions. The
student who focuses well can take a quick trip out to an external link and come
back to the drill for the next question. The pop-up boxes with illustrations of
vocabulary within the exercises are very useful. There are also verb paradigms
for review which pop up when the user need them.
- While going out to external links can be interesting, there are students who
will find this diversion distracting while in the context of a grammar exercise.
Some students need to be very focused when doing drills, others have learning
styles that permit digression.
Recommendations: Since this study module is already exceptional, the author or
an individual submitting a learning assignment could expand the writing skill
capabilities. Since the theme promotes expressing a point of view, e.g.,
cause-effect perspective, a vocabulary list of discourse expressions might be
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- The module, like the author?s exceptional predecessor, Ojala que llueva cafe, is
exemplary in terms of design. The reading, listening and grammar activities are
accessible from a clearly laid out main menu that facilitates the learner?s use
of the software. The downloading time for the audio files is minimal even
though the song is not heard in its entirety at one listening. There are links
to author's main page which link to the author's own guides to verb forms and
usage, grammar exercises, and self-check verb charts. The author also links to
outside on-line sources, e.g., dictionaries, Spanish grammar tutorials, and
Spanish accent rules.
It is a nice feature to have links for how to type accents on a PC and on a Mac,
right on the pages where a student might use them. For the analysis of the
song, student responses can be mailed directly to the instructor, which is
another convenient feature. Nelson is using technology to make her work
accessible, not just to her own students but to the wider audience of users of
online materials. The grammar pop-ups are unobtrusive and provide support for
those who need them.
- There are some occasional slow downloads of images. At times, an image does
not appear to have the closest correlation as a gloss with the vocabulary item
that it is supposed to represent.