Varied approach advised for second-language teaching

Those who teach Spanish as a second language have to tailor their approach to be effective for many types of people, particularly taking into account students’ different knowledge, learning needs and ages.

That was gist of a two-hour presentation organized in June by York’s Spanish Resource Centre (SRC) and delivered by Carlos Barroso (left), pedagogic director of the Spanish publishing house Edelsa. He discussed several methods of teaching the language.

Barroso pointed out that some students need to focus on their oral skills to travel or work abroad; some need to pass specific Spanish tests; and others need to develop their skills with Spanish in a business environment, which means the method they will use at class will have to cover very specific areas of communication.

Before joining Edelsa’s Department of Didactics Investigation, Barroso worked as a Spanish-as-a-second-language teacher for several years, including at The Cervantes Institute in the Philippines. It was there that he developed his skills at different language-teaching methods for a wide variety of students.

During the presentation, Barroso gave special emphasis to the following:

  • How to develop an intercultural approach (Spain/South America) in a lesson on Spanish-as-a-second-language designed for teenagers
  • How to use working materials published by Edelsa in the classroom (among the titles that were mentioned: Ven and its use of everyday life situations; Trotamundos and its activities adequate for young learners; Uso interactivo del vocabulario, a tool for developing expression skills by studying the new words in context and in contrast with Mexican and Argentinian alternatives
  • How to work with the new technologies in Spanish classes of all levels (beginners to advanced), illustrated with examples from the Spanish Course CHICOS, CHICAS and its related audiovisual material.

Edelsa, a Spanish publishing house founded in 1986 and bought in 1995 by the publishing house Hachette-Livre, has a distribution net all over the world. It has developed material to cover the needs of all types of Spanish language student.