In the Classroom: Spanish III

In Brent Detamore’s Spanish III class, students practice their past perfect verb conjugations and take time to translate their weekend plans into Spanish during “la charla,” a weekly class discussion. But when it comes to immersing students in Spanish culture in a way that the students can engage with, Brent’s got a more unconventional idea.

Quiniela is a betting game played in Spain where participants pay a dollar each to predict the results of the weekend’s football matches: which team will win in each matchup, or will the result be a tie? The goal is to correctly predict the outcome of at least 10 out of the 15 soccer matches. Those who guess correctly stand to win big. Brent’s class doesn’t bet money, and they only prize is pride (and candy) for the students who correctly predict the most matches. But it is a fun and unique way to get students involved in a part of Spanish culture.

“Quiniela is a game that I played when I was in Spain,” says Brent, “and it’s a game that we play every week. I used to just do it once a month, but students requested that we play more often. It’s a really fun game, but it’s also a good way to talk about Spanish culture. I can use soccer as a jumping-off point to talk about the different cities of the league, and the students get into it because they know these cities from the game.”

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