La rutina diaria 🎵

La Rutina Diaria

La Rutina Diaria is adapted depending on the level of the course. Below is the structure for Beginning Spanish I.

I begin each class day with La Rutina Diaria (The Daily Routine).

One of my objectives as a language instructor is to motivate my students to see the many benefits of being bilingual and to explore language by travel and global citizenship. It is my hope that through studying a second language, my students will gain a knowledge and understanding of other cultures, which will increase their global knowledge and, ultimately, encourage a world-wide cultural tolerance. To reach this end, I utilize a variety of activities and approaches, which include starting each class with La Rutina Diaria. La Rutina Diaria consists of 3 things: 1) a song, 2) the date, and 3) a phrase of the day.

When students enter the class, there is always a song playing in Spanish. As they filter in and take their seats, they have the opportunity to listen to the song or perhaps watch the music video (90% of the time, I choose lyric-only videos). Once the class begins, we hop right into discussing the song, including the artist and country of origin.

On the PowerPoint, I always include the same points: artist name, song title, country, and genre of music.

First, I will ask the students if anyone has heard the song before, if they know who sings it, what it is called, etc. We will review the name of the artist, the song title, and country of origen. Second, we confirm the date, and end with a mini-lesson on the "phrase of the day". As the semester goes along, I gradually remove the answers that frequently repeat, such as the country, as the students use the clues in the map to help guide them to the proper answer, for example. I also do this with the date. About mid-way through the semester it is expected that we will have repeated many of the countries of origen, as well as the days of the week and dates, so the students should be feeling confident to try and say them without the prompt.

The phrase of the day is selected either because it forms part of the lesson that day, it might be a part of the song, or just a useful phrase I think would be beneficial to the students to know at this point in their language learning.

👈 This is an example of a Rutina Diaria from the first week or two of class. I ask the students "¿Qué es la fecha?", while pointing at the phrase on the screen where they can see the information. All they need to do is supply the answer by reading it. After responding positively to answers, and recasting anything that might need corrected, we move on to the artist. I ask the students "¿Cómo se llama el/la artista?" , "¿Cómo se llama la canción?", y "¿De dónde es _____?" o ¿Qué es su país de origen?" while pointing to the phrases. This is easy and low stakes for the students since they can see the answer in front of them, while they practice only pronunciation and listening comprehension.

👈 This is an example of a Rutina Diaria from about week 5 or 6. I ask the students "¿Qué es la fecha?", while pointing at the the word fecha on the screen, next to the red question mark. After students supply the answer, I provide positive reinforcement, and we move on to the artist. I ask the students "¿Cómo se llama el/la artista?" , "¿Cómo se llama la canción?", y "¿De dónde es _____?" o ¿Qué es su país de origen?" while pointing to the phrases. At this point most students will have at least a basic idea of how to respond, having been repeated with this same structure for 5 weeks. Sometimes I will mix up the next points, either by telling the students the genre of music or by asking them to provide the information.

I believe starting class this way has many positive benefits, not only for human learners in a classroom, but also for the L2 learning process. First of all, students have the opportunity to enjoy the pleasant, positive feeling that music often brings, while settling into their Spanish class. Second, routine is really important, not only for learning in general, as it is good practice for learners to know what to expect, but also in the L2 learning aspect of it, as the repetition of these words and phrases over the course of the semester really helps foment the lexical items into the learner's repertoire. Third, considering the various countries of origen of many Spanish-speaking musical artists allows us to discuss the many different Spanish varieties, and approach the topic of linguistic variety and dialectology in general; and, by pairing the activity with the map students have the opportunity to become familiar with the vast geography of the Spanish-speaking world.

Below are three final notes on La Rutina Diaria:

1. I also offer an extra credit component with this daily routine. At the end of the semester, if students turn in a listing of all the dates, song title and artist, and phrase of the day (in Spanish of course), they have the opportunity to either a) receive extra credit points on their final exam or b) waive an entire day of missed homework. Their choice. ✅

2. As I continue to evolve and grow as a Spanish language teacher, so does The Daily Routine. I would like to thank my high school Spanish teacher, Mr. Larry Bailey, for inspiring me with this idea through his love of music 🎵, playing songs on his guitar every day in class, and the meaningful pedagogical practices he employed in our class, such as providing useful phrases for us to practice out in the real world. ✅

3. On assessment days, such as quizzes and tests, I tend not to do the daily routine in order to give the students as much time as they need for the assessment. ✅