Rebelde with a cause: Students watch telenovela to practice Spanish

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Viviana Jaimes (11) watches Rebelde during her lunch period to improve her Spanish. They show was created in 2004 and ended in 2006 but was recently added to Netflix. Picture by: KEyla Blanco

It is a Tuesday morning and Viviana Jaimes (11) walks to her 1st period AP Spanish class, minutes after finishing the 15th episode of the telenovela Rebelde.

To improve her spanish, Jaimes has decided to watch a new TV show in Spanish called Rebelde, (Rebel in English), during her free time in order to try something new and broaden her horizon of the language.

“I never watched the show because I was too young, but my friend recently reminded me of it so I thought I would try it out,” Jaimes said. “She told me we should watch it together to learn Spanish and I thought it was a great idea.”

The telenovela Rebelde is a Mexican show produced by Televisa and created by Cris Morena in 2004. The series is set at the Elite Way School, a prestigious boarding school in Mexico City, with a major plot line revolving around a group of students forming a pop band. After three seasons, the final episode aired in Mexico on June 2, 2006.

“Some of my friends watched it when they were younger so we talk about it. My friend Haley is also watching it so we talk about what we’ve seen and if we’re actually understanding.” Jaimes said.

Rebelde was a very popular TV show in its time through the Latin community. Now that Netflix has added Rebelde, ARS students have begun to watch the show in order to try something new and surround themselves with Latino culture and language.

“I know I need to start surrounding myself with more Spanish and different accents because I’m so used to Mr. Ruiz [AP Spanish teacher] and his accent,” Haley Loan (11) said. “By understanding different accents, I really think I can improve my listening ability.”

Mr. Ruiz  has always tried to surround students with the Latin culture, as well as the language. Students are expected to speak only Spanish in class. They are sometimes given Spanish names and occasionally watch movies in Spanish such as “Bajo la misma luna”. 
“I recommend students to watch a telenovela outside of class so that they get more than an hour and a half of Spanish everyday,” Spanish teacher Mr. Juan Carlos Ruiz said. “The only way to learn the language is to practice and practice outside of class as well.”