When I booked Onatti Theatre Company (www.onatti.co.uk) to perform their Spanish-language play Primera Cita I thought it would be ideal for key stage 4 students, as the leaflet said it was tailor-made for revision of GCSE topics. However, we decided to involve more students in what proved to be a wonderful experience.
Our selection of around 100 students from throughout the school was based on their knowledge of Spanish, ability, effort and interest shown in lessons, and relevance to scheme of work. KS4 and 5 students had priority, as their examination specifications include all the topics and vocabulary listed by Onatti. KS3 students were selected mainly by ability and effort shown in Spanish lessons.
On the day of the performance the students were highly motivated and a bit worried. Most were daunted by the task of watching a play totally in target language. However, after the performance, I found many had been able to follow the whole story, and to understand much of the dialogue between the two characters, Carlos and Mar!a. It was most rewarding to watch how the students approached the actors, who were native speakers, to practise their knowledge of Spanish. It was extremely satisfying for everybody.
In the hour that the play lasted, the students were bombarded, in target language accompanied by carefully selected gestures, with a compendium of different topics learned at KS3 and 4.
The music was entirely Spanish in flavour, fresh and appealing to a young audience.
Alejandro Flox Nieva, teacher of Spanish, George Dixon Secondary School, Birmingham