Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where's the Learning in Spanish Service Learning?: Sabrina Uddin Tells Us on YouTube

Assessment in Spanish community service learning (and in CSL in general) can be the subject of much debate. In Spanish, some important questions are:

  • *How do you assess students' language skills? Differently than in a regular classroom?
  • *What language skills do you assess? For example, do we continue to assess "textbook grammar" when students are working with "real-world grammar"?
  • Students often report that Spanish CSL increases their confidence in speaking Spanish with native speakers? How can we assess "confidence"?
  • How do we assess student gains in cultural awareness? The "culture in a box" strategy presented in most textbooks and many classrooms is easy to test with simple comprehension questions. But how do you even know what to test from students' "live" interactions with Latino cultures in the community?
  • What is the role of written exams in a Spanish CSL course? Oral exams?
  • Precisely how do we "test what we teach and HOW we teach" in Spanish CSL?
  • How can we capture the real-world assessment that happens every single time a student communicates with native speakers in the community and understands/is understood--or not?
All these questions, and more, deserve research and discussion.

But for now, I'd simply like to show you, in one student's own words, what she believes she learned during her University of Illinois Spanish Community Service Learning course. Sabrina Uddin kindly gave me permission to post here a link to her "diario digital" on YouTube. It is amazing to see the depth of her learning--about many things--and her ability to reflect on her own learning.

Congratulations, Sabrina, on being such a great Spanish community service-learning student.

Ann Abbott


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