The best bulletin boards grab students' attention by being entertaining and relevant to what students want to know. A teacher should always enlist students' help when preparing a bulletin board, as the preparation can be part of the learning process. Bulletin boards for a Spanish class can supplement the curriculum and increase student conversation in the target language if they are referred to frequently.
Map of Latin America and Spain
Students of Spanish benefit from knowing which countries speak the language. Teachers can over the bulletin board in light blue paper, and put up maps of North and South America as well as Spain. After a discussion, students can place an "X" over any countries where Spanish is not spoken, such as Brazil. To extend this bulletin board, the teacher can post photos of famous Spanish-speaking individuals and add arrows to indicate which country they are from.
Question of the Week
Students enjoy expressing their opinions. A teacher can use the bulletin board to pose questions in Spanish such as what their favorite color is, what qualities they look for in a friend and other question that are easy to answer. Using Spanish, students can answer the question on an index card, which is then posted on the bulletin board.
A photo bulletin board can provide fodder for Spanish conversation all year. At the beginning of the year, the teacher takes photos of the students in the class and attaches them to the bulletin board. Students can post fun information about themselves that they have written in Spanish and add it to the board. A piece of brightly colored yarn can link the writing to the photo.
Spanish has crazy idioms just like English. While English has "he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer," Spanish has "no tiene dos dedos de frente," which literally means "He doesn't have two fingers worth of forehead." A teacher can enlist classroom artists to illustrate such idioms to hang on the bulletin board, as students are more likely to remember the idioms when accompanied by the inevitably amusing drawings.
A teacher can help students overcome feelings of intimidation by preparing a bulletin board filled with cognates---words that are similar or the same in English. Examples of cognates are "no," "director" and "animal." When students realize that they already know many words in Spanish, they'll begin to relax. A teacher should make the bulletin board colorful so that it attracts attention. Placing pictures of some of the cognates will enliven the bulletin board as well.
- "Harrap's Spanish Idioms", Louis J. Rodrigues, 1990
- San Diego State University: Spanish/English Cognates
- south america image by NataV from Fotolia.com