Have you seen El Internado? Thanks to Kristy Placido, I started watching this show with my intermediate class this semester, and was absolutely blown away by their response. They would do ANYTHING to watch the show–including homework! I started having to give them a schedule of our weekly lesson plans just so they weren’t continually asking me when we would watch it! One student told me, “on days that I wanted to skip your class I came because I knew we’d be watching Internado”. They asked every guest speaker if they had seen it, and it has come back to me from other students and teachers that they are passionately talking about it outside of class. Perhaps the icing on the cake was that they opted out of going to weekly study hall to stay and watch part of another episode on their own. I’m also watching the rest of the seasons this summer, and my family is even hooked on it–and they don’t speak Spanish yet! My son has even confessed that he looked up the show online and is sad that he knows some of what’s going to happen in future episodes. The show is PG-13 ish, so depending on your school climate, you might want to send a consent/permission letter to parents before beginning. My students and I had a very direct conversation about some of the language in the show–that some of it would not be appropriate in class, but is accurate for the setting of the story.
I used the dialogue and scenarios to teach some pretty challenging grammar structures, as well as vocabulary. We worked on subjunctive by talking about what Marcos and Paula would want their parents to do. We learned several idioms, especially dealing with romance and frustration. One of my favorite parts, though, has been the doors it has opened to talk about culture and history. For example, in order to understand one of the first season episodes, you have to know about Ratoncito Pérez; in another, it’s helpful to know about the Spanish Civil War. We read TPRS Publishing’s La Hija del Sastre as part of our curriculum, so students had a familiarity with that period of time; I prepared a mini-unit to help them with Ratoncito Pérez here. We also followed some of the action on Twitter as the show was being shown in Chile this spring.
I’ll teach the beginning of the intermediate course in the fall, followed by the second part in the spring. My plan is to start the show in the fall with the goal of completing season 1, then continue through season 2 and maybe 3 in the spring. To that end, I’ll be working on a lot of support materials and activities this summer to supplement the ones I’ve already created, and would love your input! I’ve added El Internado pages to the Langcamp Wiki so that we can work collaboratively. Please sign up to be a part of the creative process at the Wiki page, and/or leave ideas in the comments below.
Have you watched El Internado? What are your thoughts about it?