How to Enhance Spanish 1 Instruction


In our latest “Teacher Talk Live,” Miss Cindy Quinlan and Mrs. Amy Yohe joined us to discuss “How to Enhance Spanish 1 Instruction.” Here, you’ll find a recap of their discussion, including a quick overview of the new curriculum and how it came about, digital resources to enhance classroom instruction, and real talk from teachers like you.

The Updated Curriculum

How did we update our Spanish 1 curriculum? We listened to teachers. We sought out the expertise of veteran educators from various Spanish-speaking countries. In the first phase, we identified seven different educators from all over the country, each coming from different levels of comfort in teaching a foreign language. We compiled pages upon pages of their feedback regarding what they thought worked, didn’t work, and needed more of for their instruction. The second phase of the update occurred in the pilot program last year, where select teachers implemented the curriculum in their classrooms and provided feedback and insights. 

One of the advantages of the new Spanish 1 curriculum, which is most appropriate for grades 9-12, is its flexibility. The new teacher editions provide opportunities for adjustment to fit the needs of your unique classroom. The new Spanish I curriculum includes more than enough practice exercises to add to your lesson plans and assign for homework, if extra practice is needed on certain concepts. 

Spanish vocabulary is another change noted in this Teacher Talk Live. Unlike the previous edition, this new curriculum does not include a separate vocabulary manual. Instead, Abeka builds the vocabulary right into the textbook and additionally offers four sets of optional vocabulary flashcards (one per quarter). It’s just another way you can enhance your Spanish I instruction!

Assessment opportunities are another change that the new Spanish 1 curriculum brings. The teacher edition provides built-in assessments, from informal aural “quick quizzes” to more formal oral reading assessments. 

One other new emphasis in this curriculum is on “survival skills” or conversational Spanish. One of the main goals is to get students familiar enough with the language that they can get by in the native language if they have the opportunity to travel to a Spanish-speaking country.

Last but certainly not least, the new Spanish 1 curriculum provides some exciting new digital teaching aids. Fully editable, the digital slides include teacher training tutorials, a slide template, vocabulary exercises with modern illustrations, and all of the complete lessons to download and customize exactly the way you want for your classroom and students. Additionally, we’ve developed a Spanish 1 Digital Student Boost product that helps your students practice their Spanish skills outside of class. This product may be purchased by the students or parents individually and it coincides with the classroom lessons to help your students prepare for quizzes and tests. Students can download the Student Boost to their own devices and practice their Spanish vocabulary and fluency on the go​​. Visit our website to find out more about and purchase the Spanish 1 Digital Student Boost.

Educator Insights

One of the most exciting parts of this Teacher Talk Live was hearing from the teachers who have already delved into the new curriculum. The following teachers involved in the pilot program offered their insights and favorite aspects of the updates:


The first educator we meet who participated in the early-release Spanish 1 pilot program is Tyler from Michigan. He has been teaching Spanish for eight years and expresses that he greatly appreciates the updated materials because the teacher editions contain step-by-step, fully customizable lesson plans and resources. He adds that the teacher editions are full of so many ideas for activities that teachers can pick and choose to make the curriculum their own. He also appreciates how clearly the user-friendly lessons are laid out in the teacher edition.


Lynn is from South Dakota and has taught Spanish for many years. Echoing Tyler’s sentiments, Lynn expressed that she loves how many exercises are included in the teacher editions, even if she doesn’t assign each and every one to every student. She recalled one of her own students commenting on how they use the additional questions for homework and how helpful that is for extra practice. Lynn also notes the heavy emphasis on pronunciation pays off in students building the later confidence to correctly pronounce future unfamiliar words, as students are often hindered by a fear of mispronouncing something. Finally, Lynn appreciates the faith-centered, Biblical worldview of this new Spanish 1 curriculum. 


Angie grew up in Spain but teaches Spanish currently in Kentucky. Angie’s favorite part of the new Abeka Spanish 1 curriculum is the “Featured Countries” sections in each unit. She loves how students get to immerse themselves in reading about the different cultures, cuisines, and landmarks in various Spanish-speaking regions, and she finds that it generates a lot of interest in her students to travel to those countries one day.

Learn More

To learn more about all of the updates and improvements of our new Spanish 1 curriculum, view the entire Teacher Talk Live on “How to Enhance Spanish I Instruction” and continue to register for our future topics. Remember, we use your feedback to select topics that are important to teachers like you, so watch your email for post-event surveys!

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