RUE Episode 102: Missions

Welcome to Episode 102: Missions, of Ramping Up your English. Missions were established in America to convert Native Americans to Christianity and to expand the influence of Spanish interests in both North and South America. Episode 102 focuses on these missions, and how they affected the lives of the Native Americans who interacted with them.

Watching Episode 102

Episode 102 is now available from Click here to see Episode 102 ad free on If the archive is slow, you can also watch it on You Tube. Click here to watch it on the You Tube Channel Ramp Up your English. The You Tube version may have ads per claims by music owners.

Episode Summary

Episode 102 is in a series of episodes devoted to the content of this unit on Native Americans. No direct English instruction is contained in this episode. Rather, we hope to expand viewers’ knowledge of the massive changes that took place in America due to the arrival of Europeans.

From the beginning of Spain’s activities in the Americas, the endeavor of replacing native religions with Christianity was a priority of Spanish and Portuguese expansion. When the expeditions of De Soto and Coronado were followed by attempts to settle the Southeast and Southwest, missions were built to facilitate this conversion. With the Pueblo Revolt, missions were destroyed only to be rebuilt when Spaniards returned – this time more careful about insulting the indigenous religions. In Texas and New Mexico, missions shifted the region’s economy from centuries-old trade systems to the missions.

In California, protection of the Spanish treasure fleets and concerns about the expanding Russian fur trade spurred the establishment of missions in today’s state of California. Beginning with San Diego, missions were established along the coast to just north of San Fransisco. These missions had a devastating effect on the Native American Communities in that region. Hence, Episode 102 is all about the missions. The entire episode contains the video about the missions.

Language Objectives

Listening Comprehension is the focus of this episode. Using the visual clues, background information from previous episodes, unit vocabulary, word recognition; viewers follow the flow of information to comprehend the knowledge conveyed by the video.

Academic Content Objectives

Locate Texas, New Mexico, and California on a map.

Trace the development of missions in Texas and New Mexico

Explain the function of missions in relation to religion

Explain the function of missions in relation to Spanish expansion and control.

Distinguish between Baja California and Alta California.

List reasons for establishing missions in Alta California.

Identify the religious orders that provided missionaries in America.

Characterize the establishment of the mission at San Diego.

List challenges to establishing missions in Alta California.

Trace the establishment of missions throughout Alta California.

Identify the benchmarks for success in the mission system.

List abuses of Native Americans in the mission system.

Identify the causes of death to Native Americans who became part of the missions.

Analyse the success and failure of the Alta California Missions from the viewpoints of the missionaries, non-mission settlers, and Native Americans.

Express an opinion on whether or not the Alta California Missions brought positive or negative consequences to Native Americans and/or to the development of California for New Spain. Be sure to explain your opinion, referring to content in the video.

Video Used in Episode 102

To view the video about missions, click here.

Trouble viewing? Try the link to Rogue Valley Voices. Click here.

Sometimes is slow on the playback. You can watch the same video from my You Tube channel. Click here to watch. There may be ads.

Links to Related Videos

In Texas and New Mexico, Spanish expansion was challenged by the Comanche. Click here to see a video about Comanche raids and their effect on how Spanish Americans treated Native Americans in the region.

Episode 103

Arrival of French explorers is the focus of the next episode of Ramping Up your English. Click here to visit the Episode 103 page.