Spanish for Parent-Teacher Conferences

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Need to learn more Spanish vocabulary for your upcoming parent-teacher conferences?  These conferences can be nerve-wracking if you’re talking with a mom or dad who doesn’t speak a lot of English and you do not know a lot of Spanish. Interpreters are a huge help, but it’s even better if you can throw in a few words and phrases of your own. So kudos to you for working hard to keep the lines of parent-teacher communication open—even if you need to do it in another language!

(The following is an excerpt from the Lesson 12: Making the Parent-Teacher Conference a Success from the online Spanish in the Classroom course.  If I  missed some phrases below that you need, please put them in the comments below or send me an email.) 

Now let’s get to Spanish words and phrases for positive behaviors, problem behaviors, and of course, offering praise to the students. To see them all together and to study, make sure you check them out as digital flashcards on Quizlet!

Words for Talking About Positive Behaviors

One good way to get off on the right foot is to start by talking about a student’s strong points. So let’s start with six words that will make any parent’s face light up. To use these words, start with “He visto . . . ” which means, “I have seen . . . ” Here they are:

He visto . . . ay  BEE-stoe I have seen . . .
confianza cone-fee-AHN-sah confidence
creatividad kray-ah-tee-bee-DAHD creativity
entusiasmo ain-too-see-AHS-moh enthusiasm
iniciativa ee-nee-see-ah-TEE-bah initiative
paciencia pah-see-AIN-see-ah patience
responsabilidad ray-spohn-sah-beel-ee-DAHD responsibility

Here are some phrases you can use to praise a student’s performance:

Él/ella . . . ayl/AY-yah He/she . . .
toma su tiempo TOH-mah  soo  tee-AIM-poh takes the time
se porta bien say  PORE-tah bee-ANE behaves well
sigue instrucciones SEE-gay  een-strook-see-OH-nays follows directions
obedece las reglas oh-bay-DAY-say  lahs  RAY-glahs obeys the rules
hace la tarea AH-say  la  tah-RAY-ah does the homework
presta atención PRAY-stah  ah-tain-see-OWN pays attention
respeta la propiedad de la escuela ray-SPAY-tah  lah  pro-pee-ay-DAHD  day  lah  ay-SKWAY-lah respects school property
está muy adelantado/a ay-STAH  mwee  ah-day-lahn-TAH-doh/dah is very advanced

Words for Talking about Problem Behaviors

As much as we’d like to think that all of our students jump out of bed excited about coming to class to soak up learning, we know that some of them have a hard time getting in the school groove. Sometimes they’re unmotivated, other times they need extra help, and occasionally they’re getting into serious trouble.

As educators, we need to share this information with our students’ parents. To help in that effort, here are some phrases you can use para explicar (in order to explain) some common behavior problems.

Él/ella . . . ayl/AY-yah He/she . . .
no está interesado/a no  ay-STAH  een-tare-ay-SAH-doh/dah isn’t interested
no estudia no  ay-STOO-dee-ah doesn’t study
se queda quieto/a say  KAY-dah  key-AY-toh/tah stays quiet
siempre llega tarde see-AME-pray  YAY-gah  TAR-day always arrives late
está fallando en sus clases ay-STAH  fah-YAHN-doh  ane  soos KLAH-says is failing classes
tiene demasiado absentismo tee-ANE-ay  day-mah-see-AH-doh  ahb-sane-TEES-moh has too many absences
tiene demasiado absentismo sin justificar tee-ANE-ay  day-mah-see-AH-doh  ahb-sane-TEES-moh  seen  hoo-stee-fee-KAR has too many unexcused absences

Here are words you can use in serious situations to let a parent know that a student’s behavior has crossed the line.

Necesita… nay-say-SEE-tah He/she needs…
detención day-tane-see-OWN detention
disciplina dee-see-PLEE-nah discipline
ser suspendido/a sair  soo-spain-DEE-doh/dah to be suspended
ser expulsado/a sair  akes-pool-SAH-doh/dah to be expelled
una llamada a la casa OO-nah  yah-MAH-dah  ah  lah KAH-sah home phone call
una conferencia con los padres OO-nah  kone-fare-AIN-see-ah  kone  los  PAH-drays parent conference
un castigo oon  kah-STEE-goh punishment
una referencia del maestro OO-nah  ray-fare-AIN-see-ah  dale  mah-AY-stroh teacher referral
una advertencia OO-nah  ahd-bare-TANE-see-ah warning

Words for General Behaviors

Next, let’s move on to some words and phrases that could go either way in a parent-teacher conference – positive OR negative. The only difference is the “no” after the él or ella.


Él/ella no…

ayl/AY-yah  nay-say-SEE-tah

ayl/AY-yah  nay-say-SEE-tah  no


He/she doesn’t…

asiste a la escuela ah-SEE-stay  ah lah ay-SKWAY-lah attend(s) school
llega a tiempo YAY-gah  ah tee-AIM-poh
arrive(s) on time
hace sus tareas AH-say  soos tar-AY-yahs do(es) his/her assignments
obedece las reglas oh-bay-DAY-say  las RAY-glahs obey(s) the rules
escucha al maestro ay-SKOO-cha  ahl mah-AY-strow listen(s) to the teacher
participa en la clase par-tee-SEE-pah  ane lah KLAH-say participate(s) in class
respeta la propiedad de la escuela ray-SPAY-tah  lah proh-pee-ay-DAHD  day lah ay-SKWAY-lah respect(s) school property

Words for Offering Praise

And finally, here are some great ways to praise a student’s outstanding behavior or effort:

Su comportamiento es . . . soo  kohm-port-ah-mee-AIN-toe  ays… His/her behavior is . . .
Sus notas son . . . soos  NO-tahs  sohn… His/her grades are . . .
Su tarea es . . . soo  tah-RAY-ah ays… His/her work is . . .
mejor may-HORE better
excelente ake-say-LANE-tay excellent
fantástico fahn-TAH-stee-koh fantastic
extraordinario ake-strah-or-deen-AR-ee-oh remarkable
estupendo ay-stoo-PANE-doh stupendous
magnífico mahg-NEE-fee-koh tremendous
bueno BWAY-noh good
satisfactorio sah-tees-fahk-TORE-ee-oh satisfactory

Hopefully you feel more confident in keeping your students’ families informed and motivated. In addition, you discovered how to highlight your students’ achievements and how to point out areas in which they need to improve. Above all, you learned handy words for praising your students when they make you proud! And best yet? You will be able to communicate it all in Spanish at your next Parent-Teacher conference!

Remember that all of these words can be found and practiced as digital flashcards here on Quizlet. What words and phrases did I miss that you still need? Please put them in the comments below or send me an email!

(Note that the above is a tiny excerpt from the 6-week, online Spanish in the Classroom – worth 24 CEUs!  See all of the online Spanish courses that Pronto Spanish offers!)

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