Introduction to the Curriculum

This is a task-based, open-access Spanish language curriculum that centers Blackness in Latin America and Black language learners. It is a free resource for Teachers to use in their Spanish language classrooms. This curriculum was designed based off of a needs analysis study that we conducted with over 100 Spanish language learners at Florida Memorial University (South Florida’s only HBCU) and Florida International University (the largest HSI to graduate Hispanic students in the nation). It is thus based on students’ real-world needs.

Below, Teachers will find units with accompanying lesson plans and tasks. Every lesson plan is designed following a task-based methodology. Assessment is also task-based and criterion-referenced. For each unit, we have created a Community Leader video that features a Black scholar and/or community leader who uses Spanish in their life.

Teachers: let us know how we can continue to support you further!  Please use this link to let us know what additional resources and/or trainings you would like to support your practice. Please also sign up if you would like to know when we launch the Spanish II curriculum:

We encourage you to cite this curriculum as you use it. Please cite as:

Baralt, M., Clemons, A., Anya, U., & Gómez, D. (2022). Task-based Spanish language curriculum for Black language learners: An open-access resource for teachers. Funded by National Endowment for the Humanities.

We would like to thank all of the students who gave us feedback during the needs analysis and curricula feedback cycles, as well as Ms. Amber Ree Robinson and Ms. Jazmine Exford.

This project was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (AC-264174-19). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this curriculum do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.




These materials are licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC license.

Spanish I Units

Organization of Units

Each unit below features a weekly lesson plan (units 6, 7, 8 and 9 could be done across two weeks). Teachers can use the with MI-BRIDGE curriculum as their the main content, can plan and organize the units to be seamlessly combined with content they are currently teaching, and/or can even supplement with the tasks presented here to align with the learning objectives they currently have in their local contexts. Our goal is to have this curriculum be flexible to meet Teachers needs.

Unit 1 - Introduction, language variety, raciolinguistic ideology, and celebrating and centering Blackness in Latin America

 Download Lesson Plan


  • Course introduction
  • Linguistic autobiography
  • Reflections on contexts in which we see language variety
  • Reflections on terms that exist in different Englishes (School English, AAE) that also exist in Spanish!
  • What does raciolinguistic ideology mean, and why is it important for our language learning?
  • Afrolatinidad, afrolantinx
  • What we can do with Spanish for our careers (with examples from professionals)
  • A new perspective for Spanish language learning:
    • Celebrating and centering Blackness in Latin America
    • Black in Latin America: Blackness as a critically important social and cultural agent in the formation of culture in the Hispanic world
    • Learning Spanish = being black in Spanish (Anya, 2009); acquiring Spanish language variety or varieties, benefits of learning Spanish, becoming a global citizen


Videos to accompany lesson plan:

What is raciolinguistic ideology?

What is Afrolatinidad?

What is the ‘x’ in Latinx?

Community Leader Video by Dr. Kami Anderson:

Dr. Kami Anderson is a scholar, researcher, consultant, and activist. She received her BA from Spelman College and her PhD from Howard University. She is the author of multiple books, including Raising Bilingual Brown Babies: Everyday strategies to become a confident bilingual family. Her work is an amazing example of entrepreneurship with the Spanish language.  Click the following links for more information on Dr. Kami Anderson’s book and website! 

Community Leader Video by Valentino Rahming:

Valentino Rahming is a native of Nassau, Bahamas and has served as a Spanish teacher for the past 12 years within K-12 and university settings. During this time, he has taught Spanish in The Bahamas and the United States and English to elementary school students in Panama. As a PhD candidate in Second Language Acquisition, his dissertation centers the investment of intermediate learners of Spanish at the tertiary level in The Bahamas. It is the first study centering the language learning investment of Afro Caribbean learners of Spanish and is being conducted in hopes of encouraging more Bahamian students to invest in their language learning experiences, and to advocate for the implementation of sound language policy in The Bahamas. Additionally, he serves as the lead for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the graduate student council of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), and works to provide access for students from historically underrepresented groups ensuring their participation as student members of AAAL.


Unit 2 - Greeting others in Spanish, introducing ourselves, strategies for when we don't understand

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  • Target task: Greet others in Spanish
  • Real discourse examples (input-based tasks)
  • Introducing ourselves
  • Strategies for when we don’t understand

Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • Video of you introducing yourself in Spanish with a classmate
  • Three written strategies, with explanations, that language learners can use in the case of a communication breakdown (interaction strategies when we don’t understand)


Videos to accompany lesson plan:

An example of TÚ:

An example of USTED:

Student example 1:

Student example 2:

Community Leader Video by Nixandra Alexandra:

Nixandra Alexandra is proudly Dominican and Haitian. She recently graduated from Florida International University, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and her Master’s of Science in Hospitality Management. Growing up in the beautiful and linguistically diverse Miami, she encourages everyone to learn Spanish and Haitian Creole.

Community Leader Video by Akil Rose, a student at Florida Memorial University:

Akil Rose was born in Nassau, Bahamas. He is a sophomore at Florida Memorial University, majoring in Aviation Management. Akil enjoys playing soccer, basketball, volleyball, and video games. He is looking forward to graduating in 2025 and plans to have a career in Airport Operations.

Unit 3 - Ordering coffee and food from La Ventanita

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  • Target task: Order coffee and food items from “La Ventanita”
  • Real discourse examples (input-based tasks)
  • Listening tasks increasing in cognitive complexity
    • identify food items based on what you hear (audio input)
    • identify food items based on what you see and hear at the Ventanita in Quibdó, Colombia (audio + video input)
    • identify food items based on what you see and hear at a busy bakery in Quibdó (audio + video input)
      • practice with video transcript
  • Speaking tasks
    • Order from the Ventanita; listen to your partner and write down their order (information-gap task)
  • Listen to and understand a song in Spanish


Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • Video of students ordering coffee and items from the Ventanita (this final video will go in their learning e-portfolio)
  • Multimedia task: Ventanita spaces in your own community
  • Writing task on Sergio Vargas (with optional bonus)


Videos to accompany lesson plan:

La Ventanita by Sergio Vargas

(Note to Teachers: Although old, this music video is full of Black people with scenes of 1990s Santo Domingo. The teacher can prime students explaining that the song is “vintage” a huge merengue “classic” from a golden era of Caribbean music to ward off any accusations of being out of touch!)

Café Versailles en Miami

Comida que venden en la ventanita en Quibdó, Colombia

Pidiendo café

Community Leader Video by Kia London:

Kia London is a Spanish teacher in Chicago, Illinois. She is a passionate educator, writer, and advocate for equity by way of intercultural competence and cultural representation. With sixteen years of experience, she has taught all grade levels K-12. While specializing in the language acquisition process of Spanish for all speakers, she continues to integrate her studies of the African Diaspora, second language acquisition, and diversity, equity, and inclusion into her instruction. Check out her amazing resources for teachers!

Twitter: @MaestraLondon

Instagram: @clases_de_london  (for teachers)

and @trailblaze_language (for African diaspora and DEI resources)



Unit 4 - Reading and ordering from a menu at a Dominican restaurant

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  • Target task: Read a menu and order food in Spanish
  • Real discourse examples (input-based tasks)
  • Yarumba restaurant in Miami (because everyone needs Dominican food in their life)
  • Culture in food; Latin food we have here in Miami


Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • Video of you successfully ordering food from a menu in Spanish
  • (Optional: writing assignment on the African influence in Latin American gastronomy)



Video for Teachers:

Example of how the Teacher models Task 2 in the Spanish language classroom (Dr. Déborah Gómez, Florida Memorial University)

Videos to accompany lesson plan:

New Harlem Besame

Ordenando comida en Yarumba

Community Leader Video by Belema Josiah, a student at Florida Memorial University:

Belema Josiah is a music major at Florida Memorial University—the only HBCU in South Florida—and is in her final year. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida, but has an ethnic background as a Nigerian American. Belema enjoys singing, writing, and learning about other cultures. She looks forward to graduating next semester, 2023, and aspires to work in a music therapy setting.

Community Leader Video by Dr. Samuel A. Darko:

Dr. Samuel A. Darko is the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Florida Memorial University. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

Unit 5 - Buying items at the market in Chocó, Colombia, and negotiating prices

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  • Target task: Buy items at the market or store (for example, at the Flea Market)
  • Real discourse examples (input-based tasks)
  • Asking for and negotiating the price
  • Strategies for when we don’t understand
  • Measurements and quantity

Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

      • Video of student ordering something from a vendor and paying for it (should be uploaded to the learning e-portfolio)
      • Optional: written paragraph on our elders’ market places in their community and what we learned from them


Videos to accompany lesson plan:

El mercado

Comprando frutas

This video features Black women in Palenque, Colombia who make and sell traditional Afro-Colombian sweets. It has market scenes, Black culture, scenes and art from Palenque, and talks about the history of Palenqueros.


Community Leader Video by Dr. Tasha Austin:

Dr. Tasha Austin is an author, consultant, researcher and currently an assistant professor of teacher education, language education and multilingualism for the University at Buffalo, Graduate School of Education. She is the outgoing Teacher Education Special Interest Group Representative for NJTESOL-NJBE and co-created and hosted their “Critical Conversations” YouTube series. Her expertise is in language, identity and power, and the ways in which antiBlackness emerges in language education and (language) teacher preparation. 

We highly recommend teachers read Dr. Austin’s article: Austin, T. (2022). Linguistic imperialism: Countering anti-Black racism in world language teacher preparation. Journal for Multicultural Education, 16, 246-258. 

Twitter: @ProfeAustin 



Unit 6 - Understanding and giving directions, communicating with Uber driver

Download Lesson Plan


  • Target tasks: Understand and give directions in Spanish
  • Real discourse examples (input-based tasks)
  • Listening to and understanding directions
  • Providing directions orally

Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • A video of students giving directions over the phone to an Uber Eats driver (this final video will go in their learning e-portfolio)


Videos to accompany lesson plan:

In the post-task phase of Task 2, Teachers can have students do a fun activity where they explicitly examine languages in context. Teacher shows a video on how Hispanics pronounce US place names in Spanish, e.g., Gualmar, Jon Dipo, El Publi, Dunkin Dona, Teacher encourages students to look up videos or memes on their own. (This can be done during class time or, as a homework activity). Teacher can lead a brief discussion on sounds in Spanish. This serves as a real-world example of the result of languages in contact. Some options are provided below. Teacher ideally shows just one example and have the students find their own contexts. Students are experts; let them rule this activity.

How Latinos pronounce different stores

Aspiring Latino-Canadian comedian Lucas Lopez Vilet on his rise to TikTok fame

Quiz: Can You Guess These Brand Names Spelled the Way Your Spanish-Speaking Parents Pronounce Them?

Community Leader Video by Sydney Odoii:

Sydney Nii Odotei Odoi holds a Master’s Degree in Spanish Applied Linguistics and Teaching Methodology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Currently, he is a Spanish Lecturer at Prairie View A&M University while completing his doctoral studies at the University of Houston in Spanish Linguistics. A native of Ghana, Professor Odoi speaks Ga, Twi, Fante, English, Ghanaian Pidgin English, Spanish and some French. Odoi’s research interests include anti-colonial and anti-racist pedagogy such as the visibility of Afrohispanic and Africans in the diaspora in the second language classroom, Black second language pedagogy and Black second language teacher education, the intersectionality between language, race, and identity, and language of the language classroom.

Community Leader Video by Dr. Okunini Msomi Moor:

Dr. Okunini Msomi Moor teaches Afrikan Diaspora History and Afrikan-American History courses at Florida Memorial University. He obtained a Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History with a focus on the Afrikan Diaspora from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is an internationally renowned scholar of the Global Afrikan Diaspora. His publications are widely used among university curricula throughout the United States. Over the past two decades, he has counseled elected officials in both houses of the U.S. Congress in affairs relating to Western Hemisphere Afrikan-descended populations. In the academic arena, he is a celebrated editor of critical works in multiple languages on the Black people of the Americas.




Unit 7 - Geography, traveling in Latin America, checking in at the airport, options to study abroad or do short-term sojourns

Download Lesson Plan


  • Target tasks:
    • Identify Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America and their capital cities
    • Learn about the benefits of study abroad to: see the world through other’s eyes, participate in multilingual interactions, and connect with the Black diaspora in Latin America
    • Recognize signs in Spanish at the airport
    • Understand and respond to situations while traveling
    • Check-in at the airport

Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • A video of students discussing where they want to study abroad, and reporting on existing resources and options they can pursue in order to do so
  • A video of students checking into the airport


Videos to accompany lesson plan:

A message from Dr. Uju Anya on study abroad

Study abroad programs at HSI Florida International University: A message from the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC)

Community Leader Video by Dash Harris Machado:

Dash Harris Machado is co-founder of AfroLatino Travel, which facilitates diasporic social, cultural, economic and community-building exchanges with the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean. A multi-media journalist and documentarian, she recently produced NEGRO: A docu-series about Latino Identity, which explores AfroDiasporic and Black identity and the historical and present day class, race, and color complex among Latines. She is also the co-producer of Cumbe-AfroDiastories, a podcast centering Black Latin American history tying it with the contemporary, and Radio Caña Negra, a podcast collective of three Black Central American women, Evelyn Alvarez and Janvieve Williams Comrie. Their podcast dissects themes of Black history, life, anti-blackness, social access, justice, love and joy throughout the Americas and offering trainings, workshop series, and coaching on dismantling antiblackness in Latine communities.  

Dash’s work on Blackness in Latin America spans over a decade, and has been featured on CNN, USAToday, The Root, LatinaMag, HipLatina, For Harriet, VIBE, People CHICA, and the Huffington Post.

Check out her work at:

Community Leader Video by Angela Williams:

Srta. Williams es una maestra de español para los niveles K-12. Le encanta enseñar y es experta en el uso de tecnología nueva en el aula. A ella le interesan la educación, los movimientos sociales para la justicia y la música coreana.

Unit 8 - Learning about the Afrodiaspora, indigeneity, and the Afroindigenous communities in Latin America

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  • Target tasks: Tell about about the Afrodiaspora, indigeneity, and the Afroindigenous communities in Latin America
  • Recognize and understand music by ChocQuibTown
  • Characterize the uniqueness and history of Bluefields, Nicaragua
  • Explain why Francia Marquez and Esteban Sinisterra Paz are forging new paths in Latin America and in the world
  • Describe the Garifuna of Honduras

Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • Speaking task: A video of you reflecting and discussing in Spanish how you can give visibility to the Afrodiaspora in Latin America, as is university student Esteban Sinisterra
  • Reading and writing task: research and describe in English one Afro-Latin American population


Websites and accounts featured in this unit:

Videos to accompany lesson plan:

De Donde Vengo Yo by ChocQuibTown

Diseñador Esteban África, to accompany Task 3

Video by Dr. López Oro, to accompany Task 4

Optional: This video shows three Colombian youths expressing their views on Francia Márquez and what she means to them.

Optional: This video tells the history of Palenque and its people, and also talks about the music group Kombilesa Mi. They also mention hair and traditions of Black hair in Palenque, which is a nice transition to the next unit, Unit 9 (with a focus on hair).

Community Leader Video by Dr. Aris Clemons:

Dr. Aris Clemons is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics in the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures department at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Her research emcompasses the fields of linguistics, education, anthropology, and Black and Latinx studies in order to interrogate the intersections of language, race, and identity. Originally from (all over) the Bay Area in California, she has been steeped in the traditions of anti-racist pedagogies and has dedicated herself to developing and sustaining these practices in her own research and teaching. Check out her work at 

Twitter: @ClemonsAris 

Unit 9 - Celebrating Black hair

Download Lesson Plan


  • Target tasks: describe, share about, and celebrate Black hair
  • Recognize items and styles at a beauty salon and a barber shop
  • Real discourse examples (input-based tasks)

Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • Video of students sharing about their hair, their maintenance routine, and what they love about their hair (This should go in their learning e-portfolio)


Videos to accompany lesson plan:

Una visita a la peluquería Shadaii, to accompany Task 2

La barberiá El Toro, to accompany Task 3

Dominican salons be like … , to accompany Task 4

Community Leader Video by author Lori Tharps:

Lori L. Tharps is a passionate writer whose work lands at the intersection of race and real life. Journalist, author, educator, speaker, Lori uses her words to broaden the conversation about race, culture and the human experience. She celebrates diversity, kicks rocks at racism, and has a story about Black hair for every occasion. 


Check out her books: Hair story: Untangling the roots of Black hair in America; Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain; and Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families.

Additional Resources for Teachers:

Unit 10 - The Black roots of Latin music

Download Lesson Plan


  • Target tasks: Describe the Black roots of Latin music; listen to and understand Spanish music
  • Characterize Reggaetón, Latin Trap, Merengue, Salsa, Bachata
  • Learn about why these genres are inherently Black
  • Name Caribbean and Latin American musicians
  • Describe Black culture and dance in Latin American music

Measures for achieving learning objectives (task-based assessment):

  • Write a brief essay on the Black roots of Latin music (students can focus on Latin music in general, and/or focus on reggaetón, Latin Trap, or other). Students must have a concrete thesis statement and support their argument. For example: “For Latin trap to continue to thrive as a genre it needs to remember, acknowledge, and uplift the Black Latinxes that laid the ground for today’s artists.” (from
  • Listen to one song in Spanish (done during class), accurately summarize meaning.
  • Imagine that the song writer has to write one more stanza for their song. Write it in Spanish (this should go in students learning e-portfolio).


Websites featured in this unit:

Videos to accompany lesson plan:

All dance instruction videos were made for this project by Elio Hernandez, a Cuban dance teacher from the Arroyo Naranja region of Havana. He specializes in Afro-cuban dances such as Salsa, Son, Rueda, Rumba, and Merengue. For over ten years Elio has shown his passion for sharing his culture through dance by working across the island teaching visitors from all over the world.

Check him out at: 

Pasos básicos para bailar salsa

Pasos básicos para el merengue

Pasos básicos para bailar bachata

Haitian kompa from Miami

Kizomba vibes from Mozambique

Community Leader Video by Ebony Thornton:

Ebony Thornton is a Spanish teacher based in Atlanta, Georgia. In her almost 20 years of teaching, she has worked in Middle and High School, and has a passion for making students see the relevance and real world application for language learning in a global society. She always aims to make her class fun, engaging and interactive. In 2018, she created #BlackWLTeachers as a way for Black Language Teachers to network and connect across social media platforms, ensuring that the World Language classroom is welcoming and affirming to Black students. #BlackWLTeachers also works to dispel preconceived notions that people may have on what it means to be and look multilingual. When she’s not cheering on the University of Alabama, she enjoys being active, listening to classic 90s Pop and R&B, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. Thank you Ms. Thornton for all that you do for Spanish language teaching and learning! (Check out one of her recent nearpods created for teachers to use in the classroom). 

Spanish II Units

Spanish II units coming soon!

Target task types in Spanish II

In our needs analysis study, we found that the main theme unifying tasks that HBCU students want to be able to do in Spanish is to help others. The following target task types came out of our needs analysis study and will be sequenced in the forthcoming Spanish II curriculum:

  1. Talk about soccer (fútbol) in Spanish with peers
  2. Lead children in singing a song in Spanish
  3. Teach children about a sport in Spanish / guide a sport session or activity
  4. Do a therapy session or home visit in Spanish (e.g., as a social worker)
  5. Write a children’s book in Spanish
  6. Deal with insults in Spanish (linguistic self-defense)
  7. Understand and participate in comments on social media (e.g., Instagram)
  8. React appropriately to social situations in Spanish
  9. Read and respond to a text message in Spanish
  10. Write an email to a friend
  11. Write an email to a professor
  12. Help the viejitos at Walmart
  13. Medical: help a patient in Spanish; tend to the patient, make them feel comfortable
  14. Help a child or young student in Spanish (e.g., a child in an ESL class)
  15. Teach my child Spanish even if I don’t speak Spanish
  16. Distinguish between different Spanish linguistic varieties (dialects)