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Comprehensible Input in Spanish

As a Spanish Teacher, I have been exposed to many Language Acquisition Theories. As a Second Language learner, I also learned about many of these theories from a different perspective. I learned to identify what works for me as a learner and what facilitates learning a second language. 

Over my 17 years in education, I have changed my practice a little each year by constantly trying to improve and help my students. As an educator, I have an innate desire to continue learning. Over the last decade, World Language Educators have been focusing on and gaining expertise using Comprehensible Input. 

Although I don’t base my entire teaching on Comprehensible Input, I find extreme value in including Comprehensible Input activities and lessons throughout my teaching. I find that using the correct Comprehensible Input allows students to practice the language meaningfully, gain new knowledge and make them feel successful as they advance with language learning. 

What is Comprehensible Input?

Comprehensible Input (CI) is messages and ideas a learner can understand in the new language. The student may not understand every single word written or spoken. Still, by using context clues, simple vocabulary, repetition, props, and basic grammatical structures, the student will be able to understand the majority of the message. Understanding the gist of it is precisely what Comprehensible Input aims to do. 

Stephen Krashen, a linguist and researcher explains that for Comprehensible Input to be successful, it must be slightly more advanced than your current level. 

How can I find Comprehensible Input in Spanish?

Below you will find different videos and resources to help you get started with Comprehensible Input in Spanish. The key to successfully using Comprehensible Input in your language learning journey is to understand the majority of the message that you are hearing or reading. Aim to understand 70-90% of the Input.

Mi Rutina en español: Learn the daily routine in Spanish. Follow my routine from the moment I wake up. You will learn all the basic vocabulary needed to talk about your daily morning routine, and you will also see Reflexive Verbs in Spanish as they are being used repetitively throughout the video. This is my most-watched video on Youtube, with more than 100k views.

Tour de mi Casa en la Florida: Welcome to my house. Let me give you the tour fully in Spanish. Be sure to download the handout to visit every room and learn more vocabulary about each part of the house. You can follow along as I use Comprehensible Input in Spanish to help you better understand. This is an extremely popular video with Spanish teachers and students to learn and practice House vocabulary.

Colombian Calentado for Breakfast: Watch this Comprehensible Input video fully in Spanish. In this video I walk you through my breakfast routine while teaching you how to make a traditional Colombian breakfast called Calentado.  Be sure to download the accompanying handout to help you follow along and also to help you understand better. This is the perfect way to practice Spanish while learning a bit of culture. What do you think of the Calentado breakfast?

Virtual Field Trip to Tarpon Springs: Let’s visit Tarpon Springs, a beautiful and unique town in Florida. Along the way, let’s learn Spanish. In this Comprehensible Input video in Spanish, you will learn more about Tarpon Springs and the unique activities you can do while visiting. Many Spanish teachers love using this video in their classes.

Learn Spanish with Simplified News: Find out what happened to Lady Gaga and her dogs. Students and teachers love this video as it relates to current events and provides tons of cues and props to help the listener understand the content.

Virtual Field Trip Mount Dora, Florida: Join me on a virtual Field Trip to this magical town in Central Florida. Here you will see everything the town offers while practicing your Spanish. Trust me when I tell you you will fall in love with Mount Dora. Students and teachers have stated that they love this video because they can fully understand the vast majority of the 27 minutes in Spanish. Go check it out.

¿De dónde viene la leche? – Where does milk come from?: In this video, I walk you through the entire process of how milk makes it to the supermarket. The video is completely in Spanish, using comprehensible input. I bet you will be able to understand the vast majority of it.

Medical Conversation in Spanish: Join me as I take my dad to see a doctor. Learn basic vocabulary about pain and illness.

La Casa de las Sirenas: I invite you to this special tour of a beach house my husband, my son, my best friend, and I remodeled. Practice house vocabulary and learn a bit of nautical vocabulary along the way. This is such a fun way to practice and review vocabulary about the House.

Pasta a la Carbonara – Receta en Español: Do you like to cook? Do you want to practice your Spanish. Check out this Intermedia/Advanced Comprehensible Input Video to follow along as my husband and son make pasta from scratch.

Learn Spanish and Culture with News Articles: Watch this video to learn more about the unbelievable collection of Hummingbirds found in a special place in Bogotá, Colombia. Students and teachers have commented on how much they learned about this mystical place. This video uses comprehensible input, and students can understand 70 – 90% of the content.

Packing for my trip to Colombia: Help me pack for my trip to Colombia while you practice your Spanish. Here we practice vocabulary about clothing and discuss the activities I will be doing during my trip.

Sesión de fotos Navideña: Join us as we organize and set up for a Christmas Photoshoot. This Comprehensible input video in Spanish will walk you through the entire process of holding a photo shoot. In this video we will also focus on practicing tener que + infinitive to talk about the things we have to do.

Buscando el avión (Listening Activity): Watch this video fully in Spanish. In this Video I try to find an airplane that crashed years ago in the mountains of North Carolina. This handout has the entire script in Spanish and many cues and pictures to help you identify new vocabulary words. Be sure to use the handout below to help you along.

Tamales Colombianos para Navidad: During Christmas, my family and I get together, and we make tamales tolimenses. El Tolima is a department (a state) in Colombia. Watch as we make this traditional dish and follow along using simple Spanish using Comprehensible Input.

Other inputs that may be helpful are children’s podcasts, youtube videos, interviews, books, articles, etc.

Although listening to Spanish music and watching TV in Spanish can be beneficial to be exposed to the language, it may be too advanced for you to understand, causing frustrations. Instead, focus on finding resources from speakers that take their time to convey the message, use gestures, provide images, repetition, and use simple language to help you understand.