Looking for Spanish Resources?   

Finding Authentic Resources for Spanish Class

Why Authentic Resources?

Authentic resources are resources that were originally written BY native speakers of a particular language group FOR individuals of that same group. Why are these important? By exposing students to authentic resources at all levels, we are exposing them to the ways in which they are more likely to encounter the target language in the real world. 

For example, instead of (only) showing a video about la comida that was created for learners of Spanish (note: slowed down speed, simplified phrasing and vocabulary), students can also listen to an authentic video on the same topic. While more complex, students at the lower levels can simply write down any cognates they read/hear, helping them to train their ears to catch words at a quicker(more natural) pace of spoken Spanish. 

I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with including BOTH types of videos in a lesson! I love including a blend of BOTH resources types because doing so provides students with more exposure to the language and authentic resources tend to challenge them just a little bit more!

Examples of Authentic Resources

As stated, authentic resources are resources created for native speakers of a language group BY speakers of that group. There are all sorts of things that can count as authentic resources:

  • articles
  • videos
  • infographics 
  • images with text / memes
  • calendars
  • announcements
  • advertisements
  • menus
  • article headlines
  • music 
  • poems
  • stories
  • quotes
  • etc.

Where to Find Authentic Resources

Sometimes the most challenging thing is finding the best resources! Unfortunately, many textbook curriculums don’t always include enough of these resources, but I have a few tips to hopefully speed up your search:

1) Youtube – This is my favorite place to find authentic videos in the target language. Of course, depending on the speaker/pace of the video, some may feel too complex for early learners, but if it contains rich cultural information, I still might opt to use it and simplify the task (ie. students note down VISUALS as opposed to WORDS they capture about the topic). I tend to filter my results to videos <4 minutes long because anything longer than that tends to be too much for most topics and levels.

2) Infografías en Castellano –  This webpage is full of infographics on a wide variety of topics. Use the search bar on the right to search a keyword related to your unit of study. I love infographics because they tend to be more visual or include data (great practice of #s for early learners!).

3) Google Search – Look for something on any topic via Google and you’ll be surprised what might pop up! Search “carta restaurante” for a variety of restaurant menus during a food unit. Search “plan de casa” for home floorplans during your housing unit. Search “horario de clases” for school schedules during your school unit. 

Using Authentic Resources in Class

There are endless ways to use authentic resources in class, but below are a few of my favorites!

1) Warm-ups – Use a video as a warm-up activity or introduction to a new unit!

2) Full lesson – Design an entire lesson around one authentic resource – students can identify cognates, work in groups to gain meaning, make educated guesses, etc. You can help to guide them through the resource and any confusing parts by providing some comprehensible input, using the resource as a guide, and preparing discussion questions relevant to what’s provided in the resource (ie. for the video shared above, you could ask students ¿Adónde va tu familia para comprar la comida? ¿Cuál es el supermercado más ecónomico en nuestra comunidad? etc.). In regards to any cultural information referenced in the resource, students can ask questions, describe what they learned and compare the information to their own culture/community etc. (early learners might best do this in their native language).

— Songs are great for full lessons as well! Here are a few of my favorite song lessons to use in various levels.

3) Webquests – Webquests are my go-to for exposing students to a variety of resources (a mix of authentic and those intended for language learners) on any given cultural topic. For example, my students have done webquests on la comida, la escuela, la familia and more! These are especially great for independent work time or sub days.

— Try a free webquest on Quinceañeras to see how you like it, for both your beginner and intermediate-level classes!

4) Homework – If you assign regular homework, you might consider including authentic resources every once in a while! My favorite way to do this is find a relevant video and create an Edpuzzle activity with it. If you haven’t used Edpuzzle, it’s a fantastic way to assign video viewing as homework (or independent classwork!) because it requires students to pause at moments of your choosing to answer comprehension questions. It’s great for forcing students to slow down and focus on bits of a video at a time.

I hope this inspires you with some new ideas on searching for and utilizing authentic resources in your classroom! I’d love to hear which idea you want to try with your students in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet Kristen Photo

¡Hola! I’m Kristen, the teacher-author behind La Profe Digital. I design Spanish teaching resources rooted in culture, communication and authentic resources to help save YOU time!

find what you need

Follow Me on Social

Popular Resources

Shop Categories

Popular Posts