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What are the online resources for Spanish teachers?

By Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > Incorporate Technology Into Your Spanish Lesson Plans

Are you a Spanish tutor, or are you hoping to become one?

In order to continuously improve your teaching skills, it is important to stay abreast of the tools that can help you keep your lessons fresh.

In contrast to Spanish high school teachers, you don’t have an inbuilt network of colleagues with whom to exchange teaching tips and ideas.

So how can you make yourself into the best possible Spanish teacher on your own?

In order to help your students improve their Spanish skills, there are many online resources that you can use to help prepare varied and interesting lesson plans that will cover key areas like grammar or vocabulary.

Here are our top picks for online resources to help you teach any modern language!

MOOCs open up a world of possibility for Spanish students and teachers

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are online courses that are free and open to all, generally focussing on a certain subject area.

In the first decade of the new millennium, many of the major US universities like Harvard and Princeton began to share videos and other learning resources online. (Anyone remember iTunes U?) The term MOOC first appeared in 2008.

In the past few years, MOOCs have seen an explosion in popularity as universities in places like Australia, South Africa, and France all start putting courses online too.

Discover also what training you need to become a certified Spanish teacher…

A popular new way to learn

When you sign up for a MOOC, you aren’t just learning on your own in front of your computer, but you’re part of a global community of students. This makes it possible to:

  • pursue distance learning
  • access learning resources, including exercises, readings, and homework
  • speak to other students and teachers on forums

A MOOC generally lasts about 4 to 8 weeks, so it’s necessary to plan ahead and make sure that you’ll be able to complete the whole course, as well as complete all the assignments and exercises.

The hardest thing is choosing the best class for you from all the options!

MOOCs usually take place over a set period, so you’ll need to sign on regularly to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything and are making the most of your online Spanish classes.

As a Spanish tutor, you’ll probably have one of two objectives:

  1. Improve your level of Spanish if you aren’t already bilingual, or want to improve your expertise in a certain area.
  2. Improve your teaching skills and understanding of different teaching and learning strategies

Are MOOCs part of our recommended background for Spanish teachers?

How should you pick your MOOC?

Mastering a foreign language might seem like a dizzying task! But it’s possible with the right MOOC

There are many different MOOC sites that host courses from different universities. Two of the best known are Coursera and iversity.

In order to easily find the right MOOC for you without wasting any time, start regularly checking third-party sites who keep tabs on what’s on offer. They’re a great tool that lets you search for certain themes like Spanish grammar or pronunciation. Some helpful sites include:

  • CourseTalk – aggregates information from over 40 different learning providers
  • ClassCentral – basically functions like a giant course catalog of different MOOCs, and also aggregates course ratings to help you choose.
  • GroupMooc – not a website but an app to download to your phone, it not only helps you find the right course but also will block out time in your calendar to make sure you have time to complete all the assignments

You can even receive certificates and sometimes university credit for some MOOCs, a great way to show off your new Spanish teaching credentials!

Discover also how to become a self-taught Spanish teacher

Make the most of online resources

In order to keep your students’ interest and teach Spanish without any formal qualifications, it is important to adapt your teaching methods to your students’ needs and use a wide variety of learning materials. Depending on the kinds of Spanish courses you offer, you’ll need to adapt your teaching strategy.

If you are tutoring a college or high school student, it is important to make sure you’re following the same curriculum that they are learning in class. Orient yourself by having a look at their textbook that they use for their Spanish class.

It’s also worth checking the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages website, to become familiar with their proficiency standards for speaking, listening, reading, and writing Spanish.

If you’re teaching beginner-level Spanish to an adult, you can choose your own curriculum and teaching methods, and customize them to your student’s personalized learning goals!

If you’re teaching a professional who wants to move to the next level, it’s probably important to incorporate some Spanish for business and professional uses that are suitable for their level (beginner, intermediate…)

Discover also this complete guide to becoming a Spanish teacher

As you’ve probably understood, a good Spanish teacher is one who is constantly learning and reinventing themselves. It isn’t always easy, but there are a number of websites that can help you out:

Out of all the Spanish teaching sites, some of our top picks are:

http://spanish4teachers.org – this website is a must for any Spanish teacher and includes lesson plans, different handouts, listening and reading exercises, and much more.

http://zachary-jones.com/zambombazo/ has a great selection of different clips and Spanish videos to get your students some authentic listening and comprehension practices

Pearson’s resources for their Realdides textbooks, commonly used in many American public school Spanish classes, is also a great source of extra learning materials, listening and reading exercises

http://www.videoele.com/zona_profesores.html is another great resource for authentic videos to work on students’ Spanish listening and comprehension

And of course, you can also find plenty of other Spanish videos and online lessons on YouTube!

There are lots of helpful videos for teaching Spanish on YouTube. However, it will probably take a bit of searching to hit on the most helpful channels for your lessons.

Join the discussion: what level of Spanish must you be capable of in order to teach Spanish?

You probably aren’t really looking at iPhone apps to learn Spanish, since you already know the language fluently…

However, making use of these apps during your Spanish tutoring sessions can be a great way to help guide your students to success!

Mobile phone apps – a good way to reinforce what students are learning

Instead of giving your students grammar and conjugation homework for their next lesson, encourage them to download one of the free language learning apps instead.

They’re easy and fun to use, and students can do a bit of revision every day, when and where it’s convenient for them. If they can spend just 10 minutes a day on the app, it’ll help them improve, even if it obviously doesn’t replace the need for your tutoring services!

Out of the top free language learning apps, we’d recommend:

  • Babbel: in order to improve pronunciation, thanks to their vocal recognition software. The app also tests students’ ability to express themselves orally. It’s an easy way to review prior knowledge and perfect your accent – something that can also be helpful if you’re planning to study abroad in Spain…
  • Mosalingua: is a fun and easy ‘e’ version of flash cards, which help students memorize Spanish vocabulary. They’re shown Spanish words, and on the back of the card, you can find the translation to learn the words one by one. It’s a quick and easy game, which, if done regularly, is scientifically proven to help students improve their vocabulary.
  • Duolingo: for its fun approach to learning. It’s an app that turns learning languages into a game where you need to pass levels without losing a life. It’s an app that’s especially popular with high schoolers!

There are tons of free language learning apps out there, all catering for different languages (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Japanese…) Try out a few different ones to determine which will be the best for your students.

Make use of video calls in order to tutor Spanish from afar

Make the most of Skype and given Spanish classes over the internet!

It’s not always feasible to head to students’ houses to give lessons, or to find a time that works for all you students, especially adults who are also juggling work and other responsibilities.

An easy solution – video calls!

Giving Spanish tutoring lessons over video calls online is one of the ways you can use technology as a Spanish teacher.

Using the internet means you can also tutor students who may live far away. Thanks to your webcam, the student and tutor can see and hear each other, so you can communicate easily, just like if you were in the same place.

Offering video classes gives you more flexibility and also lets you save time and money going from place to place. Many of our Superprofs offer video tutoring to language students.

In order to avoid losing time on technological issues, choose an appropriate application, and make sure you’ve got a stable internet connection.

You just need to pick which app to use:

  • Skype – with more than 300 million users, Skype is the best known and most used of video calling apps available. You can also do more than just video call or instant message – share files, share screens, call cell phones or set up auto-redirects…
  • Hangouts – Google’s rival app offers a lot of the same basic functions – video calls, audio calls, and instant messages. It’s a good choice if you also use other Google products like Gmail or Google Drive, and can help you stay organized by keeping everything unified.

With Superprof, you can become a private Spanish tutor

By signing up with Superprof, you can easily find plenty of Spanish students in need of tutoring.

You just need to create a profile and fill out some information about your experience, qualifications, and teaching methods.

Superprof can put you in touch with your future students!

Here are some tips for creating your Superprof profile:

  • Be specific – describe your background, academic qualifications, level of Spanish, experiences, any other languages you speak, and any time spent studying abroad in Latin America or Spain
  • Make a list of the kind of courses you offer: beginners Spanish, after-school homework help, Spanish for adults, professional Spanish, intensive language courses, babysitting, conversational Spanish…
  • Be clear about your rates – use the level to help you set the cost of a tutoring session. On average, classes on Superprof are generally about $25 an hour (or $20 per hour for Spanish classes)
  • The first class is free – this helps give students the confidence to sign up.
  • Make a point of mentioning if you offer classes over webcam too
  • Respond to all your messages quickly. We recommend that all tutors respond to their messages within 24hours.
  • Respond to the reviews your students post.

Spanish tutors are in high demand, and it’s a great job.

By offering a wide range of courses to all your students, you can quickly build a great portfolio of tutoring clients.

Now find out the importance of spending time in a Spanish speaking country to refine your language skills.

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