Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez with life-size Llama puppet
Spanish for Travelers uses the video format to deliver language instruction in a highly creative format. Sánchez-Gutiérrez finds that the puppets make language learning less intimidating and more engaging to students.

Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Spanish for Travelers

Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Spanish & Portuguese
SPA1Y Spanish for Travelers

Language classes at UC Davis are taught five days each week for fifty minutes. Sánchez-Gutiérrez found that this schedule made it difficult for students to learn grammar and vocabulary on their own, and did not leave enough in-class time for the interactive dialogue necessary for language acquisition. 


 Creating a hybrid course gave students more time to master the mechanics outside of class and opened up new opportunities for creative delivery of that content, while allowing her to use face-to-face time to do highly interactive language activities.  Scenarios such as “In the Taxi” and “At the Market” deliver vocabulary and grammar using vividly designed sets and puppets. The puppets also add an element of humor that makes language learning less stressful, reducing a significant obstacle to student success. 

I learned in developing this hybrid course how free you feel as an instructor to do exactly what you want and to really let your imagination go ... there is no limit there. When you’re in a face to face classroom you are thinking of designing PowerPoints and handouts. When you’re in a hybrid model then suddenly you have to create everything which includes videos or audio. Everything you create has to be your own material, which makes things interesting and also very challenging.


Sample Videos from SPA1Y

En El Taxi Video
En El Taxi


En El Mercado Video
En El Mercado

Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez, PhD (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain) is Assistant Professor in Spanish and Portuguese at UC Davis, where she teaches Spanish and Applied Linguistics while also working as the First-Year Spanish program coordinator. Previously, she worked as a Spanish lecturer at Laval University, in Québec. Her primary research interests include Spanish morphology and vocabulary teaching and learning.