Teaching with El Internado

The hit Spanish TV show El Internado, La Laguna Negra has completely changed my Spanish 3 and 4 El_internado_logoclasses.  It is so compelling that my Spanish 4 class only wants to watch El Internado.  They are hooked and addicted.  Here is how I introduced and used El Internado for the first time in Spanish 3:

1) First of all, you need to purchase the TV series.  You can get it through amazon.es or on Ebay.  They are region 2 DVDs so they will not work in US DVD players.  You need to download the VLC Player onto your computer and play the DVD using the VLC Player.

2) Before I showed the first episode, I pre-taught vocabulary.  Here is some vocabulary that I taught for the first episode: EPISODE 1 VOCABULARY

For the second episode, we have done echar de menos a, la chacha, and pillar.

I did this by using TPR, PQA, gestures, etc.

3) While watching the episode with Spanish subtitles, pretty much after each scene, I pause it and talk about it.  My students also fill out  study guides.  I do more study guide questions with the first few episodes as I find that the first few episodes are hardest to understand.  Once they know what is going on and who is who, it gets easier to comprehend.   Sometimes after each episode, we will read a summary.  You can find some summaries and activities HERE.  Mike Peto has a lot of great activities HERE.  It took us almost 3 weeks to watch the first episode in Spanish 3.

4)   After Episode 1, I showed these screenshots and asked lots of questions in Spanish.  Who is this?   Where is he/she?  Who is Hector looking at?  Is it a rich school or poor school?  Etc…

5) We just started Episode 2 and my Spanish 3 classes are already getting hooked.

6) In Spanish 4, we are in season 3.  They do not do any activities while watching the episodes.  If they have questions about what is happening, they tell  me to pause it and I explain it.   After the episode is done, we might do a listening, writing, or reading activity.   CLICK HERE to see some activities for season 3.

7) There is so much that you can do with El Internado.  It includes lots of Spanish culture, for example.  A couple warnings though:  there is bad language and some scenes with more skin.  It was on Spanish TV and they show more than we would on American TV (but it is not too bad).

Not only are my students hooked on it, I am addicted as well.  Time now for me to watch the next episode!



      • It has been going really great! My classes are very invested in El Internado and are highly interested in it. I love doing the readings and graphic novels with them. I also enjoy MovieTalking some scenes with them as well. I did a post on a guided reading that we also did with great success. They always want to watch it!

  1. One great activity to do with your level 4 class is a ten minute timed quick write based on what they just saw. It does not take too much time away from viewing and you’ll get a realistic snapshot of their comprehension AND output ability. I have used this to drill home some of the advanced grammar that they’ll need to use on the AP exam, for example si clauses with the imperfect subjunctive (“si los chicos supieran….”).

  2. Hi there– thanks for this great tip. do you know if by chance these DVD’s would play on a Mac? My husband is very skeptical , claiming that newer systems have hardware blocks.

  3. Hello, I am so excited to use El Internado and these wonderful resources in my Spanish III/IV class next year. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m curious how much class time you devote to “Internado curriculum” as one might call it. I’ve seen other blogs where teachers just devote one class period a week, or maybe 20 minutes a few times a week to El Internado and activities and I’m curious what system you follow. I see you said it took 3 weeks to finish up episode 1, is that 3 full weeks of class time spent on the activities outlined in each episode’s lesson plan? Thanks for any clarification/advice!

    • Thanks for the comment! You and your classes are going to love it! When we first start watching Internado, it takes longer to get through the first episodes. We start Internado prep in early October (vocab structures) but don’t start actually watching it until November. For episode 1, it did take us 3 weeks to watch it. We have 80min classes and probably watched about 20-30min each class plus did all of the activities. So it was 3 full weeks of class time with all of the activities. After the first few episodes and after the class is used to the language, we only watch it on Fridays. However, frankly, my classes would watch it every day if they could and would do any activity related to Internado at any time.

  4. Dustin, I just was directed to your amazing blog here and will definitely be using the resources for El Internado. My only question is, do you know of any place that someone has an account of where we need to skip during the bad language or sexual scenes? I would gladly pay someone for their time in creating such a document. Thank you in advance!

    • There used to be a document with scenes to skip for the first couple episodes but I don’t know where it is now. It may have been taken down when the Internado owners demanded some resources to be removed. You can pretty much expect bad language in every episode.

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