A group of students is getting to practice conversational Spanish via Skype from a mystery country. They are chatting with Spanish speaking people around the world, and have to guess which country they are in.
When Marie Ainaire began teaching Spanish at Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative school, she realized that she needed to get her students talking. She found that Skype was a great tool for encouraging fluency in speaking conversational Spanish.
“One of my biggest goals is to have students speaking more in Spanish. I wanted to have more of an authentic experience than just talking to me, or to students who are at their own level,” said Ainaire.
Ainaire thought she could have friend in several Spanish speaking countries help out. Then, librarian Amy White suggested that she make it into a mystery, with students having to find out where the other person was located.
Ainaire’s students reported on each of 22 countries where people speak Spanish, using their knowledge of the language to learn about country location, topography, colors of the flag, and other details. Then, on their first Skype call, they asked questions in Spanish because they were told their guest did not speak any English.
“They would ask, ‘Are you in Europe?’ and he said ‘No.’ So, they crossed out Spain,” explained Ainaire. “They would say, ‘Are you on an island?’ and he said ‘No,’ so they were able to eliminate Cuba, and so on.”
Finally they asked if the president of the country was a man or woman. They then knew that the man lived in Chile. However, once they began their conversation, they asked where he was from, and they were surprised when he answered “New Hampshire.”