TESOL Lesson Plan: Using The Movie Spanglish To Teach Integrated Skills

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ESL lesson plan using a movie Type of lesson: Listening integrating speaking and writing (Movie: Spanglish) by Janine.

Level: Intermediate +

Aims:
To practice listening for details (scanning)
To introduce vocabulary that is essential for understanding the listening tasks
To allow students to practice the skill of writing in reported speech
To encourage discussion and class debate
To practice writing skills

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Assumptions: Students have acquired basic related vocabulary
Students understand the concept of direct speech and reported speech
Students have basic comprehension skills
Students have basic writing skills

Aids: DVD player
Movie: Spanglish
Handouts

Time: 90 minutes

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PRESENTATION STAGE

1) Creating interest in the topic
Technique: Discussion and personalization
Interactive pattern: T – S
Time: 5 minutes

T: When I was in Congo, I had trouble ordering food in the restaurants there, because I could not speak much French. I found it difficult to communicate with the people there, because I could only speak a few French words. I am sure that you have been in a situation where you have battled to communicate because you do not speak a language. Can any of you tell me about a situation where you couldn’t communicate because of a language barrier?

Give students time to answer.

T: Good! I am sure that everyone has had such an experience, and as ESL students, you can relate to this problem. Today we are going to watch a few scenes of a movie called “Spanglish”. It is a movie about being in a foreign country and not being able to speak the language. Has anyone seen this movie? (If so, T will ask if they enjoyed it, etc.)

Give students time to answer.

T: We will watch part of the movie only. We will first watch all of the scenes I have chosen, and then we will watch each scene while we answer the questions on the handout.

2) Pre-teaching vocabulary that is essential for understanding the listening tasks
Techniques: Matching words to their definitions; explaining their meanings; making sentences.
Interactive pattern: group work
Time: 10 minutes

T: Ok class. I am going to divide you up into two groups. Each group will have 5 word cards, and 5 definitions. Your job is to match the correct definition to each word, and then make up a sentence using that word. Once you have completed your four sentences, each group will explain their words to the others.

Words and Definitions:

influential: some one that has considerable importance
alien: something that is very different to what you are used to
ventured: to take a risk or a dare
evident: something that is easily seen or understood, or is obvious.
intimidated: to be made timid, or to be filled with fear
beckoned: to be inviting or exciting
accusation: a charge of wrongdoing that is made against a person
downsized: to be dismissed or fired from work
meticulous: to be extremely careful and precise
unburdened: to free from trouble

Feedback: students give examples with the new words. T checks meaning and structure is correct.

T: Ok class. We are now going to watch the first few scenes of the movie. After that, I will hand out the exercises we will be doing today. I will replay the scenes on at time, and stop after each task so that you can complete it.

PRACTICE STAGE

1)Listening for detailed information (scanning)
Technique: Answering questions
Interactive pattern: Pair work
Time: 10 minutes

T: For the first activity, I want you to get into pairs and answer the following questions about the first scene in the movie. We will watch the scene again, and then I will give you a few minutes to answer the questions. We can then discuss the answers as a class.

1) Who is narrating the story? (Cristina Moreno)
2) Why is the mother so upset? (Because her husband has left her)
3) Why does the mother not want the little girl to see her cry? (So she doesn’t see how upset she is, to protect her from the sadness of her father leaving)
4) Why do you think the mother decides to go to America? (Better opportunities, to get away from the sadness of her father leaving)
5) Why did they decide to settle in Los Angeles? (Los Angles has lots of Hispanic people, so they will still be able to experience their culture)
6) Why did the mother decide to look for a new job? (To look after her daughter and earn more money.

Feedback: As a class we will go through the exercise to make sure all the students have the right answers.

2) Listening for detailed information (scanning)
Technique: Identifying the wrong words
Interactive pattern: Individual
Time: 10 minutes

T: OK class. Let’s move on to task 2. This is based on the same scene in the movie. I want you to watch it again, while reading the paragraph taken from the movie. You must listen carefully and underline the words in the paragraph that are wrong, based on what you hear in the movie.

Because this admissions essay is closed record, let me just say that our transportation into the United States was “first class”. In order to raise me properly, my father need as much of the security of her own culture as possible, so we rolled through Texas, just 34% Mexican, to Los Angeles, 48% Hispanic. A few hours adrift in an alien environment, and we turned a corner and we were right back home. My Mother’s favorite aunt Monica gave us shelter. For the next five years, neither of us ventured outside our new community. Mom worked three jobs, paying a total of 500 dollars a week. Each of us doing everything we could, to make things work. We were safe and unhappy. If only I could have stayed seven, but I was blossoming, and during my very last dance, in the time that it took a boys hand to go from my head to my bottom, it was evident that she would have to leave her day job to keep a watchful eye on me. Within months, she was on her way to a job interview. She needed $700 from one job and that meant, after all her time in Canada, finally entering a foreign land.

Feedback: As a class we will go through the exercise to make sure all the students have the right answers.

3) Listening for detailed information (scanning)
Technique: Who said what?
Interactive pattern: Individual
Time: 10 minutes

T: Ok class. We will now watch the second scene and then I will give you time to complete task 3. You need to listen for the sentences I have written down, and tell me who said them.

1) “The front door is open and we’re out back ok?” (Deborah)
2) “White America beckoned, she stepped across the cultural divide” (Narrator)
3) “Now you got it, Mom” (Bernice)
4) She is my cousin (Monica)
5) “So who am I interviewing?” (Deborah)
6) “She didn’t mean it as a compliment” (Evelyn)
7) “Is there some school of the ear that I’m flunking out of right now?” (Deborah)
8 ) “Goodbye. Look forward to seeing you” (Bernice)
9) “One thousand dollars” (Flor)
10) “Six hundred and fifty dollars” (Monica)
11) “Welcome to the family” (Deborah)

Feedback: As a class we will go through the exercise to make sure all the students have the right answers.

4) Listening for detailed information (Scanning) and Grammar: Reported Speech –
Technique: note-taking and transformational exercise.
Interactive pattern: Individual
Time: 10 minutes

T: Ok class. We are now going to watch the third scene, and complete task 4. For this task, you need to rewrite the sentences from the film in reported speech. You will need to watch and listen to the scene carefully to make sure that you write the sentences so that they make sense in the movie. We will then go through it as a group to check the answers.

1) NARRATOR: I had never known that my mother had been chronically worried about money, until the first glimpse of her as financially unburdened (The narrator said that she had never known that her mother had been chronically worried about money, until the first glimpse of her as financially unburdened)
2) CRISTINA: Can we have a table for two, please? (Cristina asked if they could have a table for two please)
3) HOSTESS: Those men would like to buy you a drink. (The Hostess told them that those men would like to buy her a drink)
4) HOSTESS: She says ““I’m with my daughter for God’s sake!” (The hostess said that she was with her daughter.)

Feedback: As a class we will go through the exercise to make sure all the students have the right answers, discussing the changes in tense, pronouns, etc that are needed when transforming sentences into reported speech.

5) Listening for specific details
Technique: Sequencing
Interactive pattern: Pairs
Time: 10 minutes

T: Ok class. I want you now to get into pairs and complete task 5. For this task you need to read the sentences and then number them to show the sequence of events as they happened in the movie. We will then go through it as a group to check the answers.

__4___ Flor and Monica went together to the interview
__7___ Deborah introduced her family to Flor and Monica
__1___ Cristina’s father left her and her mother
__9___ Flor and Cristina went to a restaurant to celebrate
__5___ Monica ran into the glass door
__2___ Flor and Cristina left for America
__6___ Deborah got some ice for Monica to put on her nose
__10__ The men at the bar wanted to by Flor a drink
__8___ Deborah asked how much Flor wanted to get paid
__11__ Flor refused the drinks offered by the men
__3___ Flor worked two jobs to earn money

Feedback: As a class we will go through the exercise to make sure all the students have the right answers

PRODUCTION STAGE

1) Speaking: Discussion
Interactive pattern: groups
Time: 10 minutes

T: Ok class. I want you to get into groups. In your groups you are going to discuss the following questions. Feel free to add anything to the questions or to the discussion.

1. Could you relate to Flor and the way she felt about arriving in a foreign country?
2. Could you relate to her battle to speak English and the trouble she had communicating?
3. How do you feel about trying to surround children with their native culture?

Feedback: Can ask a few people individually to share their feelings about the discussion topics.

2) Narrative Writing
Interactive pattern: Individuals
Time: Homework

T: Ok class. For homework I want you to write about an experience you as a foreigner have had while trying to communicate in English. It could be a funny story of how you said the wrong word, or more serious story of a struggle to communicate to someone.

SCRIPT
Beginning of scene I: Dean of admissions office

NARRATOR: To the Dean of admission, Princeton University. From Cristina Moreno. Most influential person, my mother, no contest.

I think I have been pointing towards this essay ever since the day twelve years ago in Mexico, when my father left.

Scene: House in Mexico

Such was my mother’s need to protect me, that she would not let me see her cry. The trick was, get over it as quickly and privately as possible. Such was my need to protect her that I never let on that I could hear her. My mother kept us in Mexico as long as possible to root me in all things Latin. Finally, she sensed our last opportunity for change, we would leave for America.

“One tear, just one. So make it a good one” she said. She would be my Mexico.

Scene: Leaving Mexico

Because this admissions essay is open record, let me just say that our transportation into the United States was “economy class”. In order to raise me properly, my mother need as much

of the security of her own culture as possible, so we rolled through Texas, just 34% Hispanic, to Los Angeles, 48% Hispanic.

A few minutes adrift in an alien environment, and we turned a corner and we were right back home. My Mother’s favorite cousin Monica gave us shelter. For the next six years, neither of us ventured outside our new community.

Scene: Living in their new community

Mom worked two jobs, paying a total of 450 dollars a week. Each of us doing everything we could, to make things work. We were safe and happy. If only I could have stayed six, but I was blossoming, and during my very first dance, in the time that it took a boys hand to go from my back to my bottom, it was evident that she would have to leave her night job to keep a watchful eye on me.

Within days, she was on her way to a job interview. She needed $450 from one job and that meant, after all her time in America, finally entering a foreign land.

Scene II: Outside big house

DEBORAH: Hello?

MONICA: uh yeah, hi. We are here for the interview with Mrs. Clusky?

DEBORAH: Oh, great, great, you made it. Come on in. The front door is open and we’re out back ok? Oh, and call me Deborah.

MONICA: ok

Scene: Walking through house

NARRATOR: Holding out had helped though, she was no longer intimidated. Working for Angelo’s now posed no problems; it would just be a job. White America beckoned, she stepped across the cultural divide.

Monica walks right into the glass door.. Everyone rushes to help her.

BERNICE: Gee whiz in heaven…are you ok?

DEBORAH: Oh no don’t worry..I’m not mad…I’ve been looking for decoration to put up on the glass so people would stop walking into it and instead of taking what they had in stock, which was awful, I special ordered. And you know what, I’m just going to design something myself which I should have done in the first place and what does that matter when your nose is bleeding. Shut up, Deborah.

BERNICE: Now you got it, Mom.

DEBORAH: There’s no ice pack! (handing Monica some frozen peas) Pressure, pressure, just pressure. Take this (She hands Monica some money). Is it strange that I just gave you money..I just, I just felt really badly.

MONICA: It’s okay (Monica takes the money).

Scene: Back yard

DEBORAH: Chum knock it off! (to the dog) Um, I’m sorry about the way the place looks, you know I’m hosting a fundraiser for the school tonight and it’s a big mess. But just come and sit right here. There you go. Yeah just, that’s great. Yeah just, just toss it.

MONICA: Well, um um. She is my cousin. She has been here for a while. And she understands some, but doesn’t really speak English, but well, Anyway. She lives in the apartment I manage.

DEBORAH: So who am I interviewing?

MONICA: ohh. Her.

DEBORAH: You’re gorgeous. You’re gorgeous.

Monica translates for Flor

EVELYN: She didn’t mean it as a compliment. It’s more of an accusation.

DEBORAH: Mother!!!

EVELYN: Go ahead!

DEBORAH: I’m sorry, this is my daughter Bernie and my mother, Evelyn Wright (Monica translates and introduces the family). Do you guys want to come in out of the sun? You need some sunscreen? I’ve got a seventy here (Monica translates for Flor).

MONICA: She loves the sun.

DEBORAH: Oh look, we are wearing the same sweater. That’s good “booga boog” You guys want some lemonade maybe? Lemonade please, would you like to take some? Ok. Let’s just talk. Well, I have two children and my husband is a chef, a top chef, that makes me something. Anyway, he works nights so…

MONICA: Do you work?

DEBORAH: Yes. No, not right now. Why? How do you know to ask that? Well, it’s ok I mean I can talk about it. I helped run a commercial design company up until four months ago when it was downsized to zip. But now I’m a full time mom, gulp.

BERNIE: Double gulp!

DEBORAH: I have two children. My son, George is nine, Bernie you know, and I like the house, I like the house to be like me you know, in that I’m very loose and meticulous you know, at the same time. But, it’s all about first names and closeness here let her know absolutely. But do I care about the place. I’m so sorry, I’m not leaving you time to translate here (Monica translates a few words). What’s your name? Llamo? It’s one of my five Spanish words..

FLOR: Flor Moreno.

DEBORAH: Floor?

FLOR: Flor

DEBORAH: Floor?

FLOR: No. Florrrrrrr

DEBORAH: Floor?

FLOR: Florrrrrrr (lots of rolling R’s)

BERNICE: It means flower, right?

MONICA: Yes. Flower. Yes

DEBORAH: Floor? what I walk on right?

FLOR: Florrrrr.

EVELYN: Florrrr

ALL : Florrrrr.

DEBORAH: Is there some school of the ear that I’m flunking out of right now?

Flor begins to explain how to pronounce her name in Spanish

DEBORAH: What did she say? (To Monica, who translates)

MONICA: She says..If you curl your tongue and then let it be loose that you will get it.and that it’s really hard for Americans and that it’s great that you try so hard because most people wouldn’t bother.

DEBORAH: She gets me…. Florrrrr.
.
FLOR: Perfecto!!!!

DEBORAH: Dense but stubborn right? Oh now see. What you just did for me that is just what kids need..patience and encouragement. Alright, money…

Monica translates

BERNICE: Goodbye. Look forward to seeing you.

DEBORAH: (absently to Bernie) Love you…So the job is six days a week, seven to eight, all housekeeping and driving the kids, how much a week do you want?

Monica translates. Flor is nervous about the money, so says whatever.

MONICA: Whatever you say.

DEBORAH: No.. No!. This is a very important question, because if you ask for too little it means you don’t value yourself..you ask for too much it means you’re taking advantage. So?

Monica translates

FLOR: One thousand dollars.

Silence. Then Monica and Flor start to laugh.

MONICA: She is kidding.

Evelyn starts making hand gestures of a six behind Deborah’s back.

MONICA: Six hundred and fifty dollars.

DEBORAH: Welcome to the family (Gets up and kisses Flor). Come on, I want to show you around.. Come on come on!

Scene III: Restaurant

NARRATOR: I had never known that my mother had been chronically worried about money, until the first glimpse of her as financially unburdened.

CRISTINA: Can we have a table for two, please? We’re celebrating.

HOSTESS: Ok. Right this way. Is this good? (Pointing at a table). Enjoy!

CRISTINA: Wow, expensive.. (Flor covers up the prices)

HOSTESS: Excuse me, uh, those men would like to buy you a drink.

Christina translates as the hostess points to two business men at the bar.

CRISTINA: Thank you! (To the men)

FLOR: No thank you!

As the hostess moves off, Flor calls her back and speaks to Cristina in Spanish. She urges Cristina to translate what she has said back to the hostess.

CRISTINA: This is so embarrassing! My mother said to tell them “Who do you think you are? Can’t you see I’m with my daughter for God’s sake!”

HOSTESS: Good!

Hostess goes to the men at the bar and says

HOSTESS: She says ““Who do you think you are? I’m with my daughter for God’s sake!”, Her young daughter.

Flor and Cristina smile and carry on their dinner.

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