What should I teach in my Spanish BEGINNERS’ classes? (A1)

One of the main queries that Spanish teachers have at the beginning of their careers, is how they should structure course content appropriately to match student ability and knowledge.

In my case, I keep track of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) which is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages. Moreover, it divides learners into three broad divisions (A, B and C) that can be further divided into six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). For each level, it describes what a learner should be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing.

In this post, I focus on the initial level A1, which I have divided in another 3 parts (A1.1 / A1.2 / A1.3) so that the information can be used in one large course or in 3 shorter courses. In either of these ways the Spanish student will have completed A1:

esquema MCEL

For better exposure, I have created 3 tables with some series of communicative, grammatical and lexical resources to implement in an initial Spanish learner. Before introducing the content, I want to highlight that I have taken as a guide “difusión” an editorial of ELE, the CEFR and my own experience.  Just to clarify, this is not the only way to teach Spanish. It’s just a guide, my guide.

In first place, I present the A1.1. This course has the peculiarity that it is addressed to students who do not have previous knowledge of Spanish, beyond «hola» or “amigo». As I said, there is no wrong content but it is important that the content you present to your students is as useful as it can be. It is then much easier for students form a commitment and stay motivated.

Following the above notes, I introduce my proposal about what we should teach in A1.1:

cuadro A1.1.001

The below table puts forward the intermediate level within A1, which we have called A1.2

cuadro A1.1.002

Lastly, we have A1.3. Regarding this approach, once it is done, the level A1 is completed.

cuadro A1.1.003

Ainoa Cano