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Thursday, July 28, 2016 (read 1303 times)
 

Using the Instituto Cervantes Curricular Plan for your Spanish Classes

by Esther

Using the Instituto Cervantes Curricular Plan for your Spanish Classes

What is the Instituto Cervantes Curricular Plan  (PCIC)?

The Instituto Cervantes Curricular Plan "develops and sets levels of reference for the Spanish language according to the recommendations proposed by the Council of Europe in its European Framework (...) it has also been developed in order to provide a useful tool to Spanish teachers around the world."

The plan is divided into three volumes according to the levels of reference detailed in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and "follows the same outline: first detailing the relationship of the general objectives of the levels established and, continuing with a listed description of the material needed to carry out communicative activities specified for each level described in the common reference levels of the CEFR. The descriptions of materials include both linguistic material and non-linguistic material - the cultural and learning related material - which is considered relevant to offer a comprehensive treatment of the language from a communicative standpoint."

How can I use the Instituto Cervantes Curricular Plan in my Spanish classes?

The descriptions included in the PCIC have incredible potential not only as useful to Spanish as a foreign language teachers, but also for students who want to monitor and track their own learning by being knowledgeable about the linguistic and cultural elements they should know at each Spanish language learning level.

This plan is a fundamental tool for teachers. It allows them to understand which functions, general or specific ideas, grammar, spelling, methods and practical strategies are included at each language learning level. As teachers, we commonly find ourselves in class, unsure if a particular vocabulary word, grammatical structure or tense belongs to one CEFR level or another; as a result we become uncertain about if we should teach it or not. A simple consultation of the PCIC can resolve all our doubts and help us make sure not to teach content that corresponds to the wrong language level, while making sure that we do teach material that does correspond to our students' level.

Another advantage of the Instituto Cervantes Curricular Plan is its usefulness in creating teaching material for our classes. For example, if we have to teach physical descriptions at an A1 level, we can take a quick look at the PCIC to clarify the specifics we should teach at that level (look at the picture that heads this post). Once the vocabulary and structures we should be teaching are clear, it is very simple to prepare communicative activities to present, work on and strengthen our students' knowledge of the appropriate vocabulary and structures.

Using the PCIC as an assessment tool is another useful way to take advantage of the plan. It can help us establish which content and functions we should evaluate in our classes. It also helps in level testing; giving us guidelines for placing students at one level or another.

And last, but not least, being familiar with the descriptions included in the PCIC helps us both personally and professionally understand our students' learning process; allowing us to more successfully plan our courses and create effective teaching strategies.

Feel like taking a look at the PCIC? Would you like to share an experience you've had related to the PCIC? Share it with us!


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