Saturday, April 25, 2015
Monday, April 20, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Recently I was asked by a parent to give some advice on a student's draft of his resume. This person's child will graduate from college in May and look for a job, probably in sales. (That is a common first job.)
Although I'm not sharing the entire resume here, I still think that my comments can be helpful to anyone. And for the record, I always recommend Darcy Lear's services. They are very reasonably priced (it's a true investment), and the people she works with have great success.
Here's my message:
Show, don't tell
"Contributed ten blog posts of designer profiles in one month. Cold called twenty prominent designers (50% acceptance; 10% Spanish-speakers), conducted telephone interviews, drafted posts, submitted to team for editing and posted final versions in WordPress on or before deadline."
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Oh, [Name]. It's so discouraging to always have to be explaining ourselves and proving ourselves. And it's usually to people for whom no amount of explaining would ever be enough anyway.
I've never, ever heard that particular confusion. But I have heard a lot of people say that it makes us look like a "service" department.
You can tell them that there is a journal called Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning and that there are many books and research articles published about "service learning." If they are unfamiliar with the term, they can see that it is a commonly accepted term in research venues as well as in umbrella organizations of higher education (like the AACU, Carnegie, etc.).
But don’t waste too much of your time on those people, amiga mía. Just keep doing your good work. :)This is total BS. (Sorry, but I don't know what other term to use.) Just because a faculty member isn't aware of a field of scholarly work doesn't mean that field doesn't exist.
Did the Americas only exist once Columbus "found" them?
This is resistance. This is power. This fear in the face of pedagogies and research areas that threaten the status quo in language departments.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Study abroad programs are always looking for talent.
Our talented students (grad and undergrad) are passionate about languages and cultures and jobs that draw upon that passion.
I'm excited to hear what my friend Dr. Joan Solaún has to say.
Please join us!
Saturday, April 11, 2015
El evento todavía se está preparando. Hay mucho que hacer antes de que llegue el 30 de abril. Somos una agencia sin fines de lucro, pero el dinero que ganaremos en nuestro evento será dinero de emergencia. Típicamente, nos llegan llamadas muy diversas. A veces, nos llaman sobre dónde encontrar clases de inglés. Pero a veces es más grave y los clientes no siempre tienen suficiente dinero. Nuestro dinero de emergencia será para los clientes que tienen una emergencia y necesitan ayuda financiera. ¿Qué será el evento? Venderemos “walking tacos” afuera del YMCA en el campus. El YMCA no solo es donde está la oficina de La Línea, pero también es un lugar central del campus donde muchos estudiantes pasan y muchos pasan con hambre. Al aprender de la idea, no me gustó. “Walking tacos” son hechos de Doritos o Fritos con carne, lechuga, etc. Me parecen poco auténticos de la comida hispana pero queremos representar la cultura hispana. Sin embargo, los estudiantes conocen este tipo de comida y les gusta. Sugerí también vender dulces mexicanos, ya que son auténticos. Así, podremos vender lo que a los clientes (los estudiantes) les gusta para también algo nuevo y auténtico que también podrán probar. Esperemos que este evento tenga éxito pero más que nada, demuestra nuestra dedicación a la comunidad y como La Línea se ha desarrollada en una agencia muy activa en el campus y la comunidad de Champaign-Urbana.
Friday, April 10, 2015
I'm looking forward to Glenn's talk! (See one student's reflection on the talk below.)
Thursday April 16 - Glenn A. Martínez (Ohio State). "From valuable to vulnerable: Heritage language health professionals and the ecology of language in health care along the U.S.-Mexico border" - Co-Sponsored by the Center for Advanced Studies and CLACS (US Title VI Grant). 4-5 PM Lucy Ellis Lounge (FLB 1080)
Me encantó la charla de Glenn Martínez. Fue muy interesante aprender cómo el español se relaciona con los profesiones de la salud. Uno de los temas que él mencionó fue la explotación de las enfermeras bilingües. Yo nunca pensé que el bilingüismo podría ser una cosa mala, pero estas enfermeras que pueden comunicar en las dos lenguas hacen más trabajo, y no reciben más dinero. De hecho, a veces estas enfermeras necesitan dejar sus pacientes para ayudar otros.
Otra cosa que Glenn Martínez explicó es el uso del teléfono Cyracom, un teléfono para la interpretación. Nunca he oído sobre el teléfono Cyracom, y pienso que los pacientes quieren una persona allí que pueden explicar la información. Una llamada por el teléfono no es muy personal.
Esta charla conecta con mi experiencia en la comunidad latina. Es cierto que la gente se siente más cómoda cuando una persona puede hablar en su lengua nativa. Yo pienso que cuando dos personas hablan la misma lengua, hay un sentido de confianza en la relación. Por ejemplo, el otro día, yo fui al restaurante mexicano El Charro para pedir si puede tener un recaudador de fundos. Cuando el empleado vio que soy blanca, creo que él pensó que yo no puedo hablar español y él no pareció interesar. Sin embargo, cuando yo le dije que el recaudador de fondos es para La Línea, él estaba muy contento y dijo que estaba familiarizado con la organización. Estábamos conectados porque ambos pueden hablar español, y queremos ayudar a la gente que habla español. Este caso se relaciona con la charla, porque muestre cómo la lengua puede conectar a las personas.
Finalmente, me gustó aprender sobre los diferentes profesiones y cómo se conecta con el español. Además, estoy trabajando en un certificado de los estudios de traducción, y él dijo que el mundo va a necesitar muchos intérpretes médicos en los próximos años. ¡Es algo para pensar!
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Read the message below from my student Annissa.
See this post about Kelly Klus, my former student who is living and working in Baranquilla, Colombia this year.
Read this post with teaching ideas I put together for anyone who is teaching a second language but wasn't trained in that.
To learn more about the program please visit: http://colombia.aiesecus.org
To highlight a few points however:
In addition, this is a very cost effective program as the administration fees only cost $600 after being accepted. Students must buy there own air fare, travel insurances, visas, etc as mandated by the country and the University.
If you know anyone who is interested they need to:
1. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org their CV and a video of maximum 2 minutes telling why they wanna go to Colombia to teach english and their prefered times and days to have a 30 minutes skype chat.
2. Cesar will contact the EPs directly to arrange the interview and confirm their application.
3. Every Monday and friday he sends the application packages of the EPs to the TN taker, from that moment, the TN Taker(Heart For Change) will contact the EP through email to arrange a second interview, the faster the EP schedules the interview the faster the decision regarding his application will be made.
4. The TN Taker will notify Cesar if the EP gets accepted, rejected or if they need a third interview, in any of those cases i will notify the EP directly of the decision and simultaneously the TN Taker will send the EP an email requesting a third interview.
5. If an EP gets accepted i will send an email confirming the decision and placement and explain the next steps.
ANNISSA M. ZAKLOCAL COMMITTEE PRESIDENTAIESEC ILLINOISillinoisemail@example.com || || Skype ID: annissa.zakwww.aiesecus.org || www.aiesecillinois.com || www.facebook.com/aiesecillinois
So many of my students would love to be bilingual. That's their goal, and that's what they spend years working toward.
But why stop there?
I speak Spanish and Italian. I have studied Catalan, and I can understand a lot of Bergamasco (the dialect spoken in the area of Northern Italy where my husband is from).
You can speak more than two languages.
I work in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. It makes a lot of sense to learn both of these languages.
And one of my students this semester is doing just that. Ken Kleisner is taking Portuguese classes here, and he plans to study abroad in Brazil this summer. Here's what he said about using Portuguese in our Spanish CSL course:
One of the most important things I have learned about the success of social entrepreneurship is that you absolutely must know your client and audience. This has been directly applied through my time at the Refugee Center, where I have learned a lot about the struggles that some of the immigrants in Illinois go through, with origins ranging from Latin America to the Middle East and Northern Africa to all facets of Asia. I have been able to not only use my Spanish in translating for some of these immigrants and refugees, but even my Portuguese, which has been equally as rewarding for me! Now when the directors at ECIRMAC have an Angolan refugee or are in need of any Portuguese speakers, my name is the first they think of. This is rewarding enough as it is, let alone actually learning the extremely tragic stories of these refugees, and actually being able to play a role in aiding them in becoming political refugees. Even being able to be exposed to another type of Portuguese has been incredibly interesting, as the dialect I mostly study is Brazilian.
Ken was even so kind as to offer his email for any student who would like to talk to him about picking up Portuguese while studying Spanish, too. firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 6, 2015
Kat Kolomban's Thesis: Parent and Teacher Perspectives on Congolese Students in the American Education System
|Kat Kolumban and her thesis advisor, Prof. Irene Koshik|
Every semester I have one or more students who write such elegant reflective essays that I just sit back, read and enjoy their ideas and the prose with which they express them.
This semester I had that same experience with a Master's thesis from Kathleeen Kolumban for the Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language. The thesis was titled "Parent and Teacher Perspectives on Congolese Students in the American Education System. I read her 112-page thesis while I was traveling early this semester, and it was like reading a novel! I kept scrolling down the screen to see what was next, what cultural practice she would describe next, what implication for practice she suggested next, what was the next piece in the puzzle of Congolese students, their parents and their ESL teachers in Champaign-Urbana. And her writing was so clear that I was able to just focus on the ideas. Brava, Kat!
I won't describe Kat's work here except to say that she interviewed Congolese parents and ESL teachers who have Congolese students in their classes in the Champaign, Illinois school district.
I will, though, share a few of my comments.
Writing StyleKat's clear, clean, compelling writing style is a real gift. I hope that she realizes that she is a good writer and treats that as a gift. That means that she should write, write and write!
Things I will reflect upon
- There appears to be "language rivalry" among the non-English speaking families. That is, Spanish-speaking families and students appear to have more resources which then gives them more chances for success. While on the one hand those Spanish-language resources were hard-fought and well-deserved, those solutions can turn out to also be problems if they set up language communities to feel resentful and create conflict. (This parallels the "Spanish problem" in language departments, where other languages feel that the size of Spanish programs hurts their enrollments and programming.)
- If this is the situation in Champaign, imagine what it is like in smaller, more rural towns in East Central Illinois new-growth communities? Worse! What happens in Rantoul? Arcola? In Effingham? In Robinson? They need this kind of information and training, even if it is not specfically about Congolese families and students.
- In describing the confusion that Congolese parents feel about "levels" and choosing classes (instead of following a pre-determined path that is the same for everyone on that same path), Kat mentioned that not knowing about these things can end up hurting students' chances to go to college. It would be good to identify a series of those "high-stakes choices" and frame them in a timeline for parents.
"We shouldn't just learn about other cultures; we should learn from them."In other words, what is good about orality? What benefits does it have? How could "mainstream" students benefit from increased orality?
- An infographic about the local Congolese community to present to the mayor, board, and school board, simply to raise awareness?
- A visit to our local public access television and radio show about immigration.
- A guest lecture in a U of Illinois course.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
I try to make my reflections and tests be learning opportunities. That is, I don't just want to know what students know, I want them to learn something new through the process of taking my test or writing a reflective essay.
What's even better than that? When the product of their reflection/exam can actually be used for an authentic purpose in the community. To meet an authentic, community-identified need.
I was emailing with Ricardo Diaz this week about the interview that Allison Gattari and I did on public access radio and television. (I was letting Ricardo know how much I enjoyed the conversation and felt that we had just scratched the surface.) When he gave me the link to the CU Immigration TV YouTube channel and I looked at the page again, it dawned on me:
My students could provide editing for the videos that would increase their value for the channel. Ricardo agreed, and so my "Spanish in the Community" and "Spanish & Social Entrepreneurship" students will do the following:
- Watch two videos. (I will assign specific videos to each student to avoid overlap.)
- For each video, write a detailed summary to be used in the "description" field for the video. Do this in both English and Spanish.
- Follow the advice at this link: 5 Tips for Effective YouTube Descriptions and YouTube´s own guide to metadata.
- ¿Qué? What were the videos about? Describe them.
- ¿Y qué? Connect the information in the videos to what you have observed during your work in the community.
- ¿Ahora qué? Based on your own experiences in the community, what other kinds of YouTube videos do you think would be most helpful to the local Latino immigrant community? Why? Why do you think adding this information to the videos is important?
Last semester I visited University of South Florida and enjoyed getting to know the wonderful group of people who works at their Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships.
I follow their Facebook Page, and I was very excited to see a recent post referencing their Toolkit for Community Engaged Scholarship. They also offer an excellent Service Learning Toolkit, Bibliography, and many other pieces of information that can spark your creativity or answer your questions.
Click, read, and use this great information to update your course or create one from scratch.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Spring break seemed to arrive late this year. So yesterday was the first class I had with my students after the break. It felt like we hadn't seen each other in a long time, so I wanted to get down to basics with them again--rev up their Spanish after some time away, remind them how to actually be helpful in their work in the community and bring them back to Champaign-Urbana and our local Latino community.
For my Spanish in the Community class, we did the following:
Transition back to SpanishI put them in pairs and told them to talk about their spring break for five minutes without stopping.
Follow-upI wrote on the board "Igual a ___, ____" and "A diferencia de ___, ___".
I asked one person to report on something interesting about their partner's spring break. The next person I called on had to start their sentence about their partner's spring break with one of the two phrases above. Example: "A diferencia de Clarissa [the previous person's partner], Corey [their partner] hizo un viaje dentro de EEUU." This meant that they had to listen to what the other people were saying so that they could use it as a connector. The students did a great job making connections, listening to each other, and speaking in Spanish.
Transition back to Spanish in our local community.I told them that I was going to read them some messages, and they had to take down the information onto a pink telephone message pad. (This is something I do frequently and have blogged about several times already.) I told them that the first message contained a lot of infomration. Too much information! So they needed to go through the following steps:
- Escuchar y entender.
- Aclarar. (Hacer preguntas específicas para tener un recado correcto.)
- Evaluar la información y prioritizarla. There are two kinds of information you absolutely need in your message so that it is useful to the person who receives it.
- Action items.
- Sufficient context.
Message #1Like I always say, this seems easy...until you actually have to do it. I read them the following message from a Facebook group that I belong to:
ClarificationWould you know how to put that together in a coherent, clear way on a small pink message pad?
ComparisonsI put the students in pairs and they compared and contrasted their messages. Then we talked about how they made their decisions. They did a great job, but it's something that they all need to continue working on.
Horario (muy importante llegar a tiempo) :
2-3 años --10:00am
4-5 años -- 10:30am
6-8 años -- 11:00am
9-10 años -- 11:30am"
ComparisonsI put the students in different pairs and they compared and contrasted their messages.
We did the same thing with the next two messages:
Para niños de 2 a 10 años únicamente el sábado 4 de abril. No se requiere registro previo pero es muy importante que lleguen con bastante tiempo de anticipación porque generalmente hay problemas de estacionamiento. Paseos gratuitos en carretas con paja entre las 10 y las 10:45 am. El egg hunt comienza a las 11 am en punto.
West Side Park – 400 W. University, Champaign."
Niños de 2 a 10 años únicamente
Registro : Hays Recreation Center, 1311 W. Church St. en Champaign. Código del programa (para registro) 415554-A1."
- They have a way of communicating and informing each other about events.
- They like to participate in fun activities just like everyone else.
- Our community can be more inclusive if everyone is informed about events in a language they understand.
- Still, this is a vulnerable community, and they can be easily preyed upon because of their precarious situations.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
by Ann Abbott
When you think of your students doing oral presentations, do you automatically assume that you'll have them prepare PowerPoint slides about a topic, stand at the front of the class, give the presentation to you and the classmates, then maybe quiz them on the content?
You don't have to do it that way, you know.
As I've written here many times before, it's popular to talk about using authentic language and authentic resources in the language classroom. I'm all for that, too. But I'm also very interested in some things that I don't hear people talk about:
- Authentic purpose. Giving our students something to do in our courses that is not just a learning exercise, a hoop to jump through. (Which is not to say that our students aren't learning a lot when they do these academic exercises for the purpose of getting a grade. Yes, they do. But they could learn more. Learn differently.) So, for example, one semester my student's final exam was to create five "pins" on our Pinterest board so that they could provide relevant information to next semester's students. To give them a kind of "leg up" on what they needed to know to succeed in the course. Yes, they were graded on their pins. But they were also creating the pins so that they could help next semester's students.
- Authentic audience. The students who sit in the classroom and listen to the other students' oral presentations aren't there because they're inherently interested in the topic or the speaker. They're there because they signed up for the course. What if that student standing up there presented the information to someone who needed it? Who had an inherent interest in the topic?
For years I have been reading Darla Deardorff's work on intercultural competence. That's why I was so excited to see that she was going to be the keynote speaker at this year's campus-wide Faculty Retreat.
In languages, we're always thinking about and working with intercultural competence (or transcultural competence, as the MLA 2007 Special Report called it). However, other disciplines and the university as a whole have begun to give it much more thought, especially because of the increasing numbers of international students on campus. So this was a wonderful occasion to bring campus-level focus to an issue that I (and others in languages) care deeply about.
She provided a very helpful handout to us, and I'll share here some of my notes as well as information from the handouts.
Myths about intercultural competence (handout)
- Students fluent in another language are interculturaly competent.
- Intercultural competence means mostly learning about others' cultures.
- One class, reading, lecture, or workshop is sufficient for addressing intercultural competence.
- Send students abroad and they'll come back interculturaly competent.
- Intercultural competence can be measured by one assessment tool.
Models of intercultural competence (handout)
- Allport (1954): Contact Hypothesis. She said that this model was old, but still very relevant.
- Bennet (1993): Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. (At the link, toggle back and forth between Bennet's model and Deardorff's model.) She pointed out that at Stage 6 of this model (Integration), she sees an increasing number of students/youth who are Third Culture Kids (TCK), also known as Global Nomads.
- Deardorff (2009): Intercultural Competence Framework. (Again, toggle back and forth to see this model which is also pictured below.)
Intercultural Competence: Self-Reflection
- She used the example of people born with sunglasses. If you are born with yellow sunglasses (and so is everyone else around you), then you see someone with blue sunglasses, if you ask them if you can put them on, then what color will you see? Green. Not blue. Green. (Metaphor for culture and our own cultural filters.)
- She said that we should not live by the Golden Rule, but rather by the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.
- When you assess intercultural competence, you must ask what is the evidence of student success in developing ICC? Then ask: what would employers say is evidence? This is an example of ICC being measured and assessed differently by various stakeholders, not just us as educators.
Implications for Assessing Intercultural Competence (handout)
- Use existing lit to define the concept of intercultural competence.
- Go beyond self report tools to assess ICC.
- Focus on process, not results.
- Intercultural learning involves a multimethod, multiperspective assessment process.
- ICC is about students learning to think and act interculturally.
- Two action steps: 1) Put this as a learning objective on my syllabi. 2) Include ICC literature as a reading or exam item in my courses.
- One burning question: For me, the question is about ethics. What is it imperative that we teach ICC? If we don't, I feel that we are being unethical as educators and as a university. We have an ethical obligation to try to prevent the next Ferguson, to enhance understanding about Palestine, to engage students in the cultural perspectives of all marginalized groups. If we don't, what will happen to our world?
|Darcy Lear, me and Kristina Medina at St. Olaf.|
I had such a wonderful visit at St. Olaf College last week. Darcy Lear and I were invited there to share with their language students and Romance Languages (French and Spanish) faculty about the combination of professional development and language curricula. As usual, I took away more than I gave.
First, I'd like to mention just some of the wonderful faculty we met:
- Prof. Wendy Allen, Chair, was a lovely host. Both Darcy and I felt that we had met our third musketeer. She was forward-looking in all respects, yet grounded as well. What a terrific combination. I loved hearing about the "J term" course that she and her husband coordinate in both Paris and Morocco. (I ran home and told my daughter, who loves math, about the geometry course Wendy's husband teaches using the tile patterns in Arabic architecture. That would have been a math course even I could have enjoyed.) Finally, Wendy is an expert in content-based instruction, something near and dear to my heart as an LSP educator.
- I have to give a huge shout-out to Assistant Professor Kristina Medina Vilariño. Kristina was a graduate student here at Illinois, and I admired her teaching and her critical thinking about many social as well as literary issues. I enjoy her posts on Facebook, which is how we had stayed in touch until this recent visit.
- Prof. Gwen Barnes-Karol is one of the most passionate and committed language educators I have met. I first met her at the 2014 LSP conference in Boulder, Colorado where she gave a keynote talk. Just a few months later, I saw her again at the AATSP conference in Panama. So it was great to see her in her element and observe in action the curricular ideas she presented in her keynote.
- I was also taken by Associate Professor Maggie Broner because of her energy, innovative spirit and creative courses. She incorporates design think and enivronmental sustainability into her teaching in very interesting ways--ways that I would like to copy!
- Everyone, just everyone we met was a delight.
Content from the beginning, language until the end
Community of Practice
Student Learning Goals
- Language proficiency.
- Textual competence.
- Interaction within a community of practice.
Cooperation with the Career Center
Monday, March 23, 2015
by Annette Popernik
Entre los tres pisos
|Your students will enjoy street art examples.|
Do you think of Banksy, who is famous world-wide? (Here's a short video in Spanish about Bansky.)
Do you think of graffiti? That word has both positive and negative connotations. Which way do you feel about it? (Here's a short video in Spanish about "El arte de ser grafitero.")
Do you think of tagging? When you see word-based graffiti with a special signature, do you think that's art? Or do you think it's blight?
Perhaps a more important questions is: what do your students think about street art? I bet that your students are already aware of street art, especially Banksy. And even if they aren't, the creativity of street art, its brevity, and its ability to pack a punch with simple images is very appealing to people of all ages.
That's why we included a video in Día a día about street art in Costa Rica: ¨El arte callejero convierte la ciudad en galería¨. You can find it in Chapter 5, p. 210. (The video is accessible online.)
- For the class warm-up, quickly flash through some of the images then ask students what adjectives they would use to describe them. Or flash through five images, and ask students to tell you which one was their favorite (they tell you the number).
- As previewing activity, ask students to group images into two categories and then explain the impact: universal messages versus location-specific messages; black and white images versus color; images that incorporate an environmental element (a hole in the bricks, peeling paint, fire hydrant, tree, shadow, etc.) versus those that don't.
- As a post-viewing activity, ask students to scan the images for inspiration then look carefully around the classroom (or outside of it if you can take your students out), and think about original images that would be relevant to their learning space.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
|Are you on track to get 28 hours?|
Sometimes students need extra opportunities to get their 28 hours during the semester. Here are some extra opportunities.
Books for Prisoners
Mobile Mexican Consulate Visit
Office of Volunteer Programs
- Write letters to migrant children: http://www.theyarechildren.com/.
- Find a reputable organization that organizes letters to people in detention centers. Keep track of the time you spend writing.
- Do something (or some things) on this list of ways to help people who have been detained.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
by Annette Popernik