Parents & Families
Faculty & Staff

Spanish I Course Description

Middle School Spanish I

Course Summary

Spanish is taught using a method called TPR-S, which stands for total physical response + storytelling. With this method, the majority of the learning/acquisition occurs in class through constant interaction with the teacher and classmates, which cannot be duplicated at home. There is no textbook for this class, and good attendance is essential.

During the first four weeks, we will take a conversational approach to some basic skills in Spanish, including greetings, saying the date, numbers 0-100, and “I/you like” expressions. Students will be expected to know “key questions” and appropriate verbal responses. This is very basic conversational Spanish.

Weeks five through nine are devoted to classical TPR. Generally, students will not be required to speak during this period. They will be expected to give physical responses to commands, which will be made clear through demonstration. A list of this vocabulary will be made available, and students will be tested over this material.

The remainder of the year focuses on storytelling. Some of these stories are rather bizarre-the philosophy being that the stranger the story, the easier it will be to remember. (It really does work!) Each chapter is built around a main story, and students will acquire high frequency vocabulary by means of gestures, physical responses, and storytelling. Each day for the first half of the chapter the students practice new vocabulary, listen to and act out a story, then retell the story in Spanish to a partner or to the class. Each chapter all students must retell one of the stories to the class for a grade. In the second half of the chapter, students use their newly acquired language by creating their own stories. Students are expected to keep vocabulary lists for each chapter and are tested after each main story.

Other activities throughout the year include songs, videos, cultural activities and games. Below is a basic time line for the course, but changes may be made as needed if it is in the best interest of the students.

Weeks 1-4 Conversational Spanish (key questions)
Weeks 5-9 Classical TPR
Weeks 10-12 The Cat Story
Weeks 13-15 The Cow and the Monkey Story
Weeks 16-18 The Lost Book Story

If you have any questions about the class procedures, requirements, or about your student’s progress in the class, please feel free to contact me. You can email me at or you can leave a voice mail message for me by calling 636-464-4401 and entering voice mailbox number 5473.