Photo by Fredy Jacob 

I must confess that it was probably 13 or 15 years ago the last time I used Extr@ in my instruction (you can find @Extra in Spanish, French, German and English).  I liked it because is was easy to understand, corny and funny. Also because it gave me a good 20 min break once in a while.

I was looking at my old files and documents the other day when I found some questions I had written for my students to answer as homework after watching @Extra.  Immediately Ana, Lola, Pablo and obviously Sam came to my mind and made me chuckle. Suddenly I had a revelation, I realized that Extr@ is probably the most comprehensible TV shows I have exposed my students to!  Extra is funny, relatable to students, uses very simple vocabulary and is successful in communicating their messages through language, images and acting. So I decided to dust off @Extra. Went back to YouTube and watched each episode with  comprehensible lenses. Here is one of the activities I came up with. As always, this is a simple activity that has helped my students and they find effective in their L2 comprehension. 

Activity: Guess the meaning.

This is an activity that you can try with different TV shows or even with movies that you find comprehensible.  The most important thing is that you choose words that you think your students will be able to understand after watching a scene or a specific moment of the show.

Instead of giving students lists of words to translate and then coming up with activities to “learn” those words, allow an opportunity for their brains to make sense of the new presented vocabulary by making connections with what they see on the screen.  Also, keep in mind that it really doesn’t matter if the topic or specific vocabulary you have chosen for this activity matches your current curriculum topic or targets any specific grammar. Languages are acquired by the power of the experience we provide our students with. 

HERE you will find the questions and words I prepared for the first two chapters of Extr@.  The idea is to allow them to watch the show and to pause every time after a character have used each one of the words in the list.  Then ask your students in their L1 what they think the word means. You will find that at least 80% of them they will come up with the right answer.  This type of activity empowers your students and contextualize each word in a meaningful way..

@Copyright Diego Ojeda, this material is intended for educational purposes and it’s free. It is prohibited to profit from it in any way. For questions contact Diego Ojeda @ diego@srojeda.com



  1. Thanks for sharing yet another great activity! The impact of your posts is spreading far and wide. One pebble with lots of ripples. Thank you!

    Today I have 2 questions:
    1) What class or proficiency level are you using this with now?
    2) Do you have your kids write the translations while viewing? Or do you view first and then have them write after you have finished?


    1. 1- Novice low through intermediate mid. It all depends on how you use it.
      2- yes, I pause while they write
      Thank you for your kind comments. Please share the blog with more WL colleagues.


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