#InstagramELE turns 2!

27 Jan

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Yes, today marks the second anniversary of our Instagram project to practice Spanish outside the class. Adelaida Martín Bosque and I had really no idea of the impact it was going to have. Some of the highlights of these two years are these:

  • We have more than 25,000 pictures tagged on Instagram
  • 30 + teachers, instructors, etc. who have tried the challenge
  • Many class tags created around the project
  • Spin-offs: there has been one similar challenge in French and one in Japanese
  • Collaborations with other instructors: Uminko Tudela’s project about urban nature and Ana Alvarez’s #aprendopalabras
  • We were interviewed by María Méndez of ProfeDeEle TV. Here’s the video.
  • One of my students wrote a blog post in which she described how two unknown teachers had helped her with her Spanish through the challenge.
  • We won an award!!!

And I am sure there are many other things I am forgetting now. But one of the best accomplishments of the project, in my opinion, has been the creation of a community of instructors, our own PLN of Spanish teachers, interested in using Instagram to foster practice outside of the classroom. I have met incredible people who teach me everyday about culture and customs of other Spanish speaking countries or about different ways to teach something. We even have native speakers who are not educators doing the challenge just for the fun of it. This represents an incredible resource for our students. They can interact easily with them. They are always happy to respond to comments.

Many people ask me how to use the challenge and if there is a rubric, and the truth is that each instructor is adapting it to their needs. We even have groups that are doing it privately, because of privacy concerns by parents or other issues, and it still works fine. I used it in one of my more advanced classes during a two week period, where students had to at least do 10 of the daily challenges by writing a sentence with either the subjunctive or conditional or something similar and then explain how it corresponded to a grammatical point we had studied in class. For my lower level classes, I just use it as extra credit. I think the challenge works better when students are not forced into the activity.

Here are just but a few examples of great post by our incredible community. As you can see, they can be used in many different ways: prompts, inspiration, reflection, grammar review, culture review.

Weeepa Festival de la Calle San Sebastián

A video posted by Maestra (@maestra_reed) on

Isaac y Sinda nacieron en los años veinte en un pueblo de Zamora, donde pasaron su infancia. Más tarde estuvieron internos en colegios distintos, en distintas ciudades. Al terminar los estudios él se quedó donde había nacido y abrió una tienda de ropa; ella, como muchos otros, emigró a la ciudad con su marido y sus hijos. #Pero al cabo de los años, vieja y cansada de sentirse sola y de echar de menos a quienes había perdido, volvió a su pueblo. Desde entonces, primero a su casa y luego a la residencia, no pasa un día sin que su hermano la vaya a ver. Esta semana #aprendopalabras propone practicar el pretérito indefinido, ese tiempo del pasado que sirve para contar historias, para no olvidar #felicidadesabuelita #yasoloquedanellosdos #intrahistoria #paranoolvidar #instagramele #pretéritoindefinido

A photo posted by @profeanaalvarez on

I hope you liked them and decide to join us, even if it is for a little bit. Believe me, you will learn something for sure, even if it just to experience the love that surrounds this community.

Thanks everyone for two wonderful years!

8 thoughts on “#InstagramELE turns 2!

  1. Felicidadea familia. Os echo de menos 💕 Enhorabuena Pilar y Ade por vuestro trabajo y papel en la familia y feliciidades a esos profes y alumnos que lo dan todo en la comunidad INSTAGRAM ELE. Ultimamente he estado demasiado ocupada pero prometo volver. Me había perdido la historia del indefinido de Profe Ana Álvarez y la historia de la perrita adoptada de Estíbaliz y me habéis arrancado lagrimones. Estas mañanas estoy con la sensibilidad a flor de piel. Y es que este proyecto emociona. Un abrazo y a soplar más velitas.

  2. El honor es mío él pertenecer una gran familia. InstagraELE me brinda un mar de hermanos y hermanas que comparten la misma pasión por nuestra lengua materna y nuestras culturas. Felicidades a Ada y a Pilar por un trabajo espectacular.
    Besos y abrazos, Enid

  3. ¡Muchas felicidades! Me encanta formar parte de esta gran familia que espero que siga creciendo. El proyecto me enamoró desde antes de que empezara y estoy seguro de que seguirá evolucionando e incorporando a nuevos profes con grandes ideas, porque un gran proyecto funciona gracias a grandes personas 🙂
    ¡A por el tercer año!

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