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Gestalt, the German psychology theory, applied to Spanish learning
Students use Spanish since day one in a meaningful, communicative way. The teacher's main responsibility is to create opportunities so that students can use Spanish in a natural, authentic manner. The first step in the teaching process is to teach grammar and vocabulary so that students can use it as a foundation for the communication that will take place in class. The second step is to use a story that the students will read in class in order to experience Spanish as it is used in an authentic way. Since the teacher is a native speaker, the teacher uses only natural Spanish in class. Whenever “Spanglish” is spotted, it is identified and the authentic, equivalent word or sentence in Spanish is taught. The third step is to use the Spanish that has been taught and learned in class in a conversation with students that will cover whatever the students have shared about their lives, families, jobs and their daily routines. This third step is congruent with Gestalt, the German psychology theory, which says that for learning to take place, the material that has been learned must be incorporated into our normal way of thinking, behaving and speaking. Therefore any time there is a possibility in class to use Spanish in a meaningful way regarding any topic that comes up, this opportunity is immediately taken advantage of and a conversation is carried out. Likewise, any vocabulary or grammar that we come across in class is purposefully taken one step further by using it in the context of the lives, families, jobs and daily routines of the students.