Two Weeks of CI - Building Confidence

¡Hola a todos!

I've survived my first week of teaching and using comprehensible input with my students. I had some first time jitters but overall things went very well! I want to share my experience and what helped things run smoothly with my students.

The most important task for a teacher new to using comprehensible input with students that are also new to language learning is BUILDING CONFIDENCE! This helped me tremendously throughout the week.

Before diving into my Súper 7 lessons and activities with my students, I took the time to ease them into Spanish. I have students from many different backgrounds. Some speak French at home, some speak Chinese and Spanish, while others speak English only. The Spanish-speakers served as a great help to my new students. With that being said, encouraging my students and letting them know that they know more Spanish than they think was my PRIMARY goal.

I began with a introduction to Spanish cognates. The similarity between cognates of English and Spanish benefit students greatly. Cognate awareness and recognition facilitate language acquisition for students. My students were so excited to be able to read in Spanish because of the use of cognates. Although they were introduced to small phrases like "Es una bicicleta." or "Es un elefante.", students were confident in their comprehension of what was said.

One of the activities that I used with students is ROMPECABEZAS: Los Cognados. Students raced each other to match all the pictures with the Spanish cognates. There are plenty of cognate activities and word walls that can help facilitate student language acquisition. Students will be more confident and comfortable using the target language. Students should begin with an attitude of "I CAN DO THIS! I CAN UNDERSTAND SPANISH! I CAN SPEAK SPANISH!".

Use of images in lessons helped me consistently remain in the target language during instruction. I'd never instructed completely in Spanish before and knew I needed some aid to help students understand what I was communicating. (...drawing was not an option for me! haha) Clip art was a lifesaver in the Súper 7 Presentations and Practice activities that I used with my students.

Even if students didn't understand what was said because it wasn't a cognate, they could rely on the images used for making connections. This helped students remember the Spanish vocabulary much better than giving them a list of 30 words to begin a new unit. I was amazed and excited to be able to go back to a previous slide and have students still remember enough to answer comprehension questions "sí" or "no" and even produce more with phrases like, "No, es un elefante." or "Tiene un lápiz."

The first week we made it through 4 verbs in the Súper 7; es, tiene, le gusta, hay. In addition to the presentations I created, I used the High Frequency Verb Unit from Mis Clases Locas to get students talking a bit more with Persona Especial interviews.  They also really enjoyed listening out for the newly learned verbs in songs and watching the videos.

Language acquisition can be messy but it's worth it to have students be able to communicate. At the end of a week with my students, there were able to express their names, origin, age, and what they like and talk about others. Of course, all are at different levels but progress is key. All of the students are making progress and are on the way to becoming life-long language learners and speakers.

Are you beginning to use Comprehensible Input this year? I'd love to chat. Drop a comment below about what has helped your students most or something that you have planned.

Hasta pronto.

Jade :)


  1. Thank you for sharing your CI journey. I am also trying CI for the first time. I also used Mis Clases Locas “High Frequency” Unit. Yet, I love the idea of starting a cognate unit. Students will leave the class with confidence because they realized they know more than they thought.

    1. Yes! Mayra, I loved the cognates unit. They're all engaged because realize they know more than they though in another language!