Mis aventuras en el Camino de Santiago:  Kurt Hastings

Follow the progress of Pinkerton Spanish teacher and NHAWLT member Kurt Hastings as he walks the Camino de Santiago.  He is updating his blog as he goes with all sorts of great resources for teachers and students.

Be sure to check it out! - Mis aventuras en el Camino de Santiago



Kahlo at the MFA:  Michael Clauss

Kahlo - Dos mujeres

"Dos mujeres"

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has recently acquired "Dos mujeres", a rare painting by Frida Kahlo.  It is one of only thirteen Kahlo paintings in the United States.

Remember that the McLane Family New Hampshire Student Membership Program allows New Hampshire students of all ages in public and private school, as well as those who are home schooled, to visit the Museum free of charge.  To request a school group visit, please complete the museum's request form and indicate that you are visiting from a school in New Hampshire.

Here are two links with lots more information about the painting and the story behind it:

MFA - Frida Kahlo: Dos mujeres

NPR story w/audio - Boston museum acquires frist Frida Kahlo painting ever sold



Goya at the MFA:  Janis Hennessey

Goya - Order and Disorder

Last weekend I went to the HUGE exhibit of Goya at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. It took my husband and I 2½ hours to slowly see it all. WOW! It was like total immersion Goya . We had the audio-video device which was amazing. It had general information about each room which had a theme of his art or media and spoke in detail about several works in each room. Plus you could hit a "go deeper" button for even more information and video. They are $4 for students. If you take K-12 they are called "youth" and the cost is less than "students" who are in college. I highly recommend the audio-video device for anyone who goes.

The exhibit really was Goya from the beginning to the end of his life and in every media he used and every theme he used in his art. If you take students, you will not take 2½ hours, but if they listened only to the  general information in each room and then looked around at all the art in the room, I would give them 1½ hours to go through all the rooms. There are many rooms!

We were very, very impressed. I don't remember this much Goya when I was at El Prado. The MFA is the only place in North America where this show will be and it is so worth the visit. If you go to they will have more details and samples from the interactive tour. It just started and goes into January.  NH students enter free. 10 students for each chaperon and they have to stay generally together. The kids may not eat in the MFA cafe, they need to bring their lunch and have a reservation for a special room which has a fee or go to a restaurant. The major cost is the b-u-s! I encourage you to go and to take as many Spanish students as possible who of course know something about Goya.


Spanish Resources in Manchester, NH:  Michael Clauss

Looking to find some Spanish or Mexican cuisine or perhaps pick up some authentic materials for your Spanish classroom?  Look no further.  Within blocks of the conference are several stores and restaurants you may want to check out.

Two Guys Food Market – Located on the corner of Union and Central streets, this Colombian owned market is a goldmine for authentic resources.  They have an excellent selection of foods, magazines and comics, greeting cards, beverages, and more, imported from all over the world.  It’s just like visiting a small grocery store in Latin America.  And the owners are very friendly.

Tropical Food Market – Another small market worth checking out although the selection isn’t quite as good as Two Guys Food Market.

Consuelo’s taquería – The owners of the small Mexican restaurant are friends of several of the NHAWLT board members.  Great people and the food is great too!  Check out the menu.

El rincón zacatecano taquería – Another taquería located close to the Radisson.  Food is great and the prices are quite reasonable.

Don Quijote Restaurant – I’ve never been here.  It has mixed reviews, but if you’re in the mood for some Spanish cuisine I’d check it out.

Do you know of any more places worth visiting?  Let us know and we’ll add them to the list.

A cultural event for you and your students: Music of Spain and Latin America

Click here to watch the concert on YouTube

Join soprano Andrea Veal, pianist Kathryn Lundahl, and classical guitarist David Ross for an evening of music from Spain and Latin America.  The program includes songs by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, zarzuela arias (a Spanish form of music theater that draws on elements of opera, popular song, dance, and spoken dialog), little-known gems by Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino, as well as solo repertoire for piano and guitar.  So that you may examine regional and dialectical variations, song translations are available to download below.  A slide show of images from Spain and Argentina prepared by Professor John Chaston of UNH was presented before and after the recital. 

Download song lyrics and translations to use in your classes.


Mundo Gaturro - Virtual Immersion:  Michael Clauss - (Download this helpful hint as a PDF)

Mundo Gaturro is a flash-based massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) based on the popular argentine comic Gaturro. Players of the game are each given an avatar cat that they can maneuver around a virtual world called Mundo Gaturro. There is no cost to obtain a basic cat avatar. The only thing needed to register is an e-mail address. Once in the game, players can interact with other players using a chat interface. There is a limited list of pre-composed chat messages that can be selected or players can compose their own short original messages. Because the game is based in Argentina, the great majority of the kids playing it are argentine with the remainder being from other Spanish-speaking countries. The game provides non-native speakers of Spanish with a virtual immersion experience. All of the input in the game, of which there is a lot, is in Spanish.

Mundo Gaturro itself is divided into a number of different sections. There is a beach, a park, a city center, mountains, an island, etc. Each section features games, and tasks that the avatars can complete to earn coins (monedas) or other items for their cats. Each avatar is also given a house which they can decorate with the items they have collected. The coins can be redeemed for a limited set of basic items such as clothing, furniture, food, etc. Only avatars that have purchased a passport (with real money) are able to select from the much wider array of “passport” items available in the game. Although an avatar without a passport cannot buy these items they can be obtained through trading with other avatars. This provides additional incentive for students to interact with the others in the game.

I have had great success using this game with my students. It provides them with an amazing amount of authentic written input in the target language in an authentic context. I usually take a portion of a class to set up their accounts and give them a brief introduction to how the game works. After that I don’t use it too often in the classroom, but encourage students to use it on their own outside of class. Sometimes I award them with bonus activities or points on assessments if they are able to complete certain tasks within the game on their own.

Here is a list of some of the challenges I have given in the past:

• New vocabulary/expressions: List 15 new words or expressions you learned in the game.

• Make a list of 20 cognates you found in Mundo Gaturro.

• Grammar knowledge: List at least three pieces of old information that you either used or saw being used. List at least one new piece of knowledge (grammar concepts, not vocabulary).

• Write one observation you have made about either the social interactions of Argentine children or a cultural theme from Mundo Gaturro. Compare/contrast with your own social interactions and culture.

• Identify at least three expressions or colloquial uses of the Spanish language from Argentina found in the game.

• Identify at least five examples of internet/text message slang or abbreviations used by other Gaturros.

• Identify at least five examples of words borrowed from the English language used in Mundo Gaturro.

• Identify at least five misspelled words used by other Gaturros (not classmates).

• Hold an extended chat with another Gaturro on a variety of topics. (Must be in Spanish with a Gaturro not from this school!) With whom did you chat? What were some of the topics you talked about?

• Get an item only available to someone with a passport. (Must be obtained from a Gaturro not from this school!)

• Complete one of the more complex temporary tasks in the game and receive the final reward. What was the task? What was the reward?How did you get it?

These are just a few activities. I’m sure you can think of more ways to use this with your students. In a future Helpful Hint I will tell you about how I have used Mundo Gaturro with several additional programs to provide students with spoken language opportunities, a key component missing from the game.

Additional information