Networked Learning Project Results!

Look at that paella!  Mine's going to be lots smaller.  Let's hope it turns out as good! cc licensed:'arròs
Look at that paella! Mine’s going to be lots smaller. Let’s hope it turns out as good!
cc licensed:’arròs

Just as a refresher, I set out to learn a bit more Spanish and how to make a famous Spanish dish (paella) as part of a networked learning project for a class I’m taking at MSU.  Over the past several weeks, I’ve been learning different vocabulary terms in Spanish as well as how to conjugate a few Spanish verbs like necesitar (to need) which is a very common AR verb in Spanish.

For our final post about the project, we’re supposed to include both pictures and a video that is 3-5 minutes in length.  However, due to the nature of the project, I actually made a few short videos that show the paella in its various stages from start to finish to accompany a longer introductory video.  It only seems to make sense to do it this way so that you can get a better appreciation for the process!

The first video introduces the project and my resources.

The second video shows the ingredients, and I say them in Spanish as well.  I forgot to say tomatoes, and I said lemon in French instead of Spanish.  That’s not too bad though considering I’ve only been learning Spanish for a month and French a heck of a lot longer.  You can’t see it, but I do quote marks with my fingers when I say jamón, as the serrano ham was hard to find and pricey.  The recipes said you could use bacon.  I’m not sure if that was cheating a bit though.

The third video shows the paella cooking and gives a close up of the rice too.

The final video shows the finished product before it’s dished up!  Try not to focus on the splatters on the stove.  I was actually really neat in the kitchen… this time.  LOL

I really learned quite a bit during the process.  Obviously, I learned how to make paella and I learned more Spanish in the process in a really fun, contextualized way. Instead of pouring over a book or listening to a bunch of tapes, I heard authentic Spanish while watching authentic cooking programs and Spanish individuals making the dish on YouTube.  I also utilized a variety of language programs such as and to learn new vocabulary and grammatical structures.  more importantly, I obtained a new appreciation for the cultural relevance of the dish that I did not have before.  for instance, I had no idea that batches of paella would be be made on such a large scale for communities to come together.  It makes sense, but I hadn’t ever really thought of it before in terms of what a particular dish’s role might be in a community.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about learning learning language through online resources, but with some motivation and careful planning, I think it really paid off.  I definitely plan to support my efforts to learn Spanish through the use of the web.  i’ll keep doing some work in a book on my own to learn new vocabulary, grammar, etc, but now I’ll be able to supplement my learning through my own mini projects online.  For instance, if I’m learning about how to describe my daily routine, I will supplement my book learning through YouTube videos and participation in language exchange sites like or perhaps

In any case, I hope you enjoy the videos and pictures.  More importantly, I hope that seeing my process of learning Spanish and how to make paella will inspire you to take on a language and/or culinary adventure of your own!

Here I am peeling the shrimp!
Here I am peeling the shrimp!
Chicken thighs cut up and dusted with flour and spices!
Chicken thighs cut up and dusted with flour and spices!
Building layers of flavor!
Building layers of flavor!
Rice added!
Rice added!
Almost ready!
Almost ready!
Yum yum in our tum tums!
Yum yum in our tum tums!

Update:  Yikes!  I got a D on this assignment in spite of how hard I worked on it, because I created a series of videos instead of a single one.  Do not think outside the box!  Lesson learned!  LOL

So I learned how to edit videos on YouTube.  I paired down some of the footage and combined it all into one.  In it, I discuss my learning goals, and you get to hear my fledgling Spanish.  In addition, you’ll also see the paella cooking and the end result.  Since the whole process took over an hour, there’s not footage of my chopping the ingredients. I solved the time challenge by including some pictures to show me peeling shrimp, sautéing the vegetables and meat, and me stirring the paella at two different points in the process.  Enjoy!


One thought on “Networked Learning Project Results!

  1. I LOVE your videos!!! I can see the process and your Spanish is great! I hope the vino para beber wasn’t the 2 buck chuck! haha. If you want to continue learning Spanish online, I recommend the podcast: Show Time Spanish which is made with a Spaniard and her British man. It’s great and “real” Spanish. Also, I’m here in Madrid until June so you and your man are more than welcome to stay with me. 🙂 Bravo!!


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