Spanish World Cup Nations Vocabulary

The internationalism of la Copa Mundial, or the World Cup Soccer, is always fascinating.  Latin American teams are dominating this Copa, so here are some countries en español. Here is a podcast of world nations in Spanish.

Nations in Spanish

  • Argentina = la Argentina
  • Brazil = Brasil
  • Chile = Chile
  • Spanish = Espaa
  • Mexico =Mxico
  • Paraguay= Paraguay
  • Alemani = Germany
  • Italy = Italia
  • France = Francia
  • England = Inglaterra
  • Denmark = Dinamarca
  • Portugal = Portugal
  • Serbia = Serbia
  • Slovakia = Eslovaquía
  • Japan = Japón

Spanish Activities for Black History Month: the Caribbean

Such a significant part of the world’s Spanish speaking population has African heritage.  Spanish is the first language of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. All three islands have strong cultural ties to Africa that came to the islands with African slaves brought by the Spaniards as early as the 1600′s.

Island Geography to teach Language

Spanish is learned best in a clear context, or background.  Geography is ideal because it is so visual and concrete.  Here are some of the Spanish components that can be learned:

  • higher numbers: demographic, population, & physical geography figures
  • directions: el norte, el sur, el este, el oeste
  • ecosystems: la selva (the jungle), las montañas, la playa (the beach), los valles (the valleys)
  • weather: el tiempo, hace calor (it’s hot), llueve (it rains), it’s sunny (hace sol)
  • descriptions: grande, peque
  • comparisons
  • water sports

So many possibilities!  Click here to see a Spanish Geography Unit: Cuba, La República Dominicana, y Puerto Rico

Spanish Vocabulary for Black History Month: The Islands

Black History month is the perfect time to honor the significant Afro-Hispanic population that is centered largely in the Spanish speaking Caribbean islands and the USA. So many African Americans & African Caribbeans are native Spanish speakers.

The Island Cultures or Cuba, Puerto Rico, & La República Dominicana bring with them an incomparable & unique richness.  Here is some basic Spanish vocabulary.

  • la música(music)- merengue, & later salsa
  • la comida (food)- plátanos (plantains), arroz (rice), habichuelas (black beans)
  • el arte (art)
  • la literatura-literature
  • los deportes-sports- beísbol, fútbol

When the Spanish explorers, missionaries, and settlers brought slaves from Africa to the Caribbean, the island cultures were transformed.  The combination of the Spanish colonial traditions with African cultural influences & practices created some of the world’s best music, dance, food, art, & literature.

The geography of Cuba, Puerto Rico, & La República Dominicana is also surprisingly varied & dramatic.

  • Cuba’s long coast line is approximately 2,100 miles long.
  • Puerto Rico’s rain forest El Yunque has rare wild-life at high elevations
  • The Dominican Republic’s peak Pico Duarte measures in at almost 11,000 feet!  It sometimes has snow!

Cultural enrichment is great for all of us, and the more the better for Spanish learners.  They need to know that Spanish is the most commonly spoken language of Cuba, Puerto Rico, & La República Dominicana.

Learning Spanish: Beijing Olympics Geography

July 26, 2008 · Posted in Spanish Vocabulary, Uncategorized · Comment 

Geography Review: un repaso de la geografía

The Olympics are the best way to review geography in fun ways.  Here are some ideas:

  • Each time a country is mentioned, the first person to say the capital scores
  • When a country’s team or player is featured, naming the bordering countries scores.
  • Naming the closest capital to a capital scores.
  • Naming the furthest country on the same continent scores.
  • Naming a country that speaks the same language as another country scores.
  • Ball tossing and passing with country name add-ons, or capital add-ons.




The continent- el continente

Countries and Capitals- los países y las


Washington, Los Estados Unidos de América

Londres, Inglaterra

Paris, Francia

Madrid, España

Roma, Italia

Atenas, Grecia

Istanbul, Turquía

Beijing, China

Berlín, Alemania

La Ciudad de México, México

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Santiago de Chile

Brasilia, Brasil

Bogota, Colombia

Lima, Perú

Quito, Ecuador

San Salvador, El Salvador



  • Go to to get a free outline map of European and World countries.  Kids can then write down the Spanish countries, and then their capitals.  Be sure to use the word bank above for beginning learners!
  • Country of the day-país del día.  Have each person chose a country mentioned on the Olympics.  He or she then has to list: capital, bordering countries, and continent.

Tomorrow look for some quick facts on China and Beijing – - en español

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