Yes, there is such a thing. Maybe you’ve been on the fence about showing your students El Internado or Gran Hotel. There are so many resources already available plus those two shows are amazing. I’m finishing El Internado for the third time right now and just finished Gran Hotel for the second time. Teachers need CI too!
Problem is, those two shows are just a tad too spicy for my Middles. Especially El Internado. I might risk it with high school students but there’s just no way I could keep my job if I tried it with the Middles.
Here’s my NOT TOO SPICY TELENOVELA alternative: En Nombre Del Amor. This trailer actually shows extra scenes that were televised but didn’t make it to the DVD collection I own.
Why I like it:
There is scandal, intrigue, drama, love triangles, and unrequited love. The drama smacks your right in the face from the beginning and only picks up momentum as the stories unfold.
Where I found it:
During my student teaching semester. My host teacher played it for her students every Friday. They didn’t do much more with it but it was fun to watch and not teach on Fridays.
What my kids say:
“I hate Carlota.” “Poor Paloma.” “Can we please just watch the show today?” “I won’t be here Friday, please don’t watch the show without me!” “Mrs. Tracy, you MacBethed us.” Yeah, did you know you could verb Macbeth?
They also ask to watch the show all the time. It’s their preferred way to be rewarded and they feel so cheated on weeks when we didn’t have class on Friday.
What their parents say:
Can you tell us the name of that soap opera you show to your classes? My daughter can’t stop talking about it with her friends!
How I use it:
I let my students watch for about 10-15 minutes on Fridays with English subtitles. I don’t always Movie Talk but here are some fun phrases I’ve been able to introduce:
se murio es un buen amig@ tiene celos es celosa es ingenuo se equivoco
confia en la persona equivocada tiene malas inenciones es egoista tiene razon
I also use it to talk about the characters and end up hitting most of the family vocabulary you would expect to use in a thematic unit. Of course, I don’t introduce all of that vocabulary at once. Rather I sprinkle it in as I circle some descriptive adjectives and high-frequency verbs from my Sweet 16 list.
Then there’s the cultural information that is so easy to introduce.
The main characters all live in really nice homes with modern furnishings. The family Espinosa de los Monteros even has a full size fountain inside their home plus a second story. I’m always careful to point out that most Mexican families don’t have such large homes. Then I show my classes the little adobe houses from my mom’s village.
We talk about Catholicism and the cultural and social significance (mostly in L1). I ask them to describe how the girls’ (Catholic) school is different from ours. Honestly, there’s really no limit to the cultural information you can present. There’s the use of herbal remedies (NOT that herb, btw), the housemaid wears her hair in an old fashion/indigenous tradition, and they sing Las Mañanitas during a birthday party, just to name a few.
Spicy Alert: I always make sure my kiddo know that one of the main characters IS eighteen years old and the other is on the cusp of turning eighteen. I do use a tiny white lie and say that the love interests of the girls are 21 (they’re actually 25) which isn’t really a big deal since the girls are 18… Romina, the childhood best friend of Paloma (the protagonist of the story) is “mature” and is involved in (more than one, gasp!) grown up relationships. There’s no nudity or foul language just some grown up situations which of course I skip.
If you’d like to know some more specific details about spicy scenes feel free to contact me 😉
I bought the series 6 years ago on Amazon (it cost about $35). It comes on four discs and I think it has 15-20 hours. I’ve never seen it on any of the streaming services but there are bits and pieces on YouTube. Since my copy is getting a little worn I went ahead and purchased a new one but this time it only cost me $10! I just couldn’t pass it up.
See you at the next Puente.