Teaching the Subjunctive Mood/Big Announcement

We don’t get the kinds of repetitions on the subjunctive that we get with other verbal structures. And it’s just not a high frequency structure in the language relative to the amount of time we have to teach it. Bryce Hedstrom has written on this topic:
…studies indicate that extensive pleasure reading can give students enough input to acquire the subjunctive, but in typical classroom conversations there are not enough instances of it for students to get the feel of how it works….
We learn it all from the net, is the way I see it. That means that structures that occur less frequently like the subjunctive mood might not get taught in a five year program. But I’m not in charge and that is only my own opinion. Slavic is going with the net and that’s a done deal, but what if we are required to teach it? Slavic doesn’t have to worry about it because he only teaches it when it comes up in the net in his level one classes.
What if we had to target it to get ready for something like the AP exam for our job security? I know I know, Krashen wouldn’t be happy about such targeting. But neither does he have to teach high school Spanish. I have seen Blaine teach the subjunctive, but I think we need something more concrete.
I’ve asked Bryce what he can do here and – big surprise – he already has something, a text he’s been working on for some time now. He is always writing good stuff! His recent book, Stuff for Spanish Class, was a big hit at the national convention, and – trumpet call please – his new website is up! It’s been in the making for some time.
It’s an awesome site. It feels very “Brycie” in that friendly way of his, it’s got this great color green thing going on, and it is loaded with a lot of stuff that Bryce is famous for. The man is a walking encyclopedia of useable stuff in TPRS classrooms. Anyway, I have prevailed upon Bryce and he has agreed to publish on his site that stuff about the subjunctive, which he tells me is already very lengthy.
Below is the new site address. Whenever a new site is born that is dedicated to spreading the word about comprehensible input, especially a site under the hands of a true master of the method, that is a reason for celebration! Here is the link:



4 thoughts on “Teaching the Subjunctive Mood/Big Announcement”

  1. I think fewer new verbs of lesser frequency and more subjunctive triggers + their friends in the subjunctive mood.
    I don’t know, I just have a number of kids who want to say “he wants her to…” requires the subjunctive.

    1. Totally agree…subjunctive is high frequency in Spanish. Seems like it’d be pretty straightforward to incorporate into PQA?

      1. “quiere que tenga” and “quiere que sea” are the two that I’m working with now in level 2 and later this year in level 1. Those are easy items to treat lexically. The problem comes with those stem-changing verbs. In my Level 2 we were reading Chapter 4 of Mi propio auto. We did “mi casa es/mi casa tiene” and “Yo quiero que mi casa sea/tenga” and the only mention to the subjunctive I made was something to the effect of “Oh your house is brown but in the future you want a house of glass. So is your house glass? No? That’s just your dream, right?” And then that turned into a catch phrase “you dreamin’, foo.” Today in our reading a kid said is that verb a “you dreamin’, foo verb?” I smiled and said yes.
        That’s exactly what I need, my accelerated 2 kids going to a traditional Spanish III saying that tense is called you dreamin’ foo.

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