By the time students reach the fourth level of Spanish, they are fairly adept at memorizing vocabulary and verb forms, manipulating grammatical constructions, reading orally and silently, and writing answers to questions or grammatical exercises, directed compositions, and summaries. They find it difficult, however, to write creatively because they are concerned with getting the paper written neatly and, if possible, doing only what the teacher wants without putting too much of themselves into it. At this stage in learning a language, the students need to feel that they have mastered a body of material which they can now use in new situations. It is imperative that they become confident in their abilities to use Spanish and their own imaginations for the creation of unique and interesting written assignments.
For several years I worked as a teacher of the talented and gifted in the area of creative and productive thinking. This is one of six areas of giftedness. The others are: 1) all around academically gifted; 2) gifted in one academic area such as mathematics; 3) visual and performing arts; 4) physical abilities; and 5) leadership.
The regional program in which I worked was designed to find and work with students who were creative thinkers. It cut across ability levels and grade lines. In the process of learning how to teach these youngsters to use their talents, I discovered that, according to the experts in this field, creative thinking can be taught to anyone, and for any subject matter.