Movietalks. Comprehensible Input in the Spanish Classroom


MovieTalks are big in the TPRS world. Spanish teachers like Martina Bex, Kristy Placido and Bryce Hedstrom have demonstrated how to leverage the power of movies and incorporate ideas from Dr. Stephen Krashen’s work on comprehensible input to teach a second language. They are a great resource for Spanish teachers looking for engaging materials to teach vocabulary and culture.

Click here to download the MovieTalk and Google vocabulary presentation for FREE.

If you are unfamiliar with MovieTalks, the basic premise is that the teacher "talks over" a short film using a list of words she wants to teach. The goal is to provide comprehensible input through repetition. This helps teach the targeted vocabulary you want your students to learn.

MovieTalks can take a bit of practice but once you have the hang of it you can improvise most of them. Just take the time to think about what words you want your students to internalize and focus on those as you talk over the film.

You can also use MovieTalks to teach culture if you can find the right film, for example an animated short about El Día de Los Muertos. But what happens when you find a short film that works well for your vocabulary list but doesn’t contain cultural items from the Spanish speaking world? 

Here’s a tip: When you want to use a movie that is lacking in culture, you can pre-teach the vocabulary with a slide presentation that includes authentic photos from the Spanish speaking world. If you need to teach the word “volar” then why not use a picture of a Quetzal and then talk about the importance of this animal in Guatemala?  There are many ways to sneak in the culture!

Try the movie talk below about a few disgruntled birds.  It has a fun little message about the importance of accepting differences! There is a short, medium and long version. They all use simple present tense verbs with cognates but they can be easily modified to use the past tense for advanced levels. They come with a free link to a Google Slides vocabulary presentation and an editable version of the scripts. 

Click here to download the MovieTalk and Google vocabulary presentation for FREE.

Play around with the texts and see what you can come up with. Above all, have fun with the movie and your students will too!  

MovieTalk for Spanish Teachers