To add to the curriculum, I have found a couple of resources but the best one I found is an edutopia blogpost about ways to connect the language classroom. I do like the idea of connecting with native speakers but the problem I see is trying to find a safe way for students to connect with them. One of the safest ways that is mentioned in the blog is through pen-pals. And I think it is a great idea. Students can get excited about actually using the Spanish they know and practice with someone in a real life situation. If your school is big enough to have a large class size of ESOL students you could do pen pal letters to and from the Spanish to ESOL Classroom.
Students don’t only have to interact with people, they can interact with published materials. The internet is great for finding these if the students are trained to do so. For example, I taught my students how to find McDondald's website from different countries so they could compare the menus to their favorite items here. Here is a great video on different digital authentic materials that can be used in the language classroom.
Even though there is not a lot of material on the connected language classroom, keeping the classroom connected by creating a collaborative environment where students use realia to actively engage with the language and giving the students a voice in their learning can be the key. Opening the doors for them to take ownership of their learning is our job. We must step aside and let them take the steering wheel. We are facilitators of their learning.