My favorite part of this is: “’So,’ Juárez Correa said, ‘what do you want to learn?'”
I wonder if I could adapt this to teaching Spanish? My students are at an age when they may choose vocabulary or grammar points that are way beyond what they are capable of, but I also wonder if I gave them the choice of vocabulary topic, if it would be more meaningful and motivational to them.
What if, I started my lessons with them with a basic verb like “Tengo” (I have). Then I tell them to pick 15 words to learn that they can use with that verb. Some students will choose pets, some will choose classroom objects, some will choose foods, some will choose toys. But they will all have 15 more words and a deep understanding of how to use that verb. I could extend it by having them teach each other the 15 words they learned. This would take forever, and I hesitate to visualize this in my extremely brief, 16-lesson per year curriculum, but it makes me dream of the possibilities.