Monday, September 22, 2008

What it takes to write a good "reflexión"

By Marcos Campillo Fenoll

I have been gladly impressed by the quality of our students' first written reflexiones this semester. Many of our students have selected Amy's story posted on this same blog as their starting point, providing many useful strategies and ideas to work inside the classroom in preparation for such events. They have been really touched by this story, and I feel we also need to prepare our students both for the positive and possible negative circumstances of working inside our community.

Some others have reflected on their first experiences with the community partners. Many share a pattern: from nervousness and fear to confidence, leading to happiness and pride. Once they got to know they people they'll be working with, and they started using their Spanish in a real setting witnessing the impact of their help, their confidence erased the previous fear of not knowing what to do or how to do it. I am really proud as well to see the first weeks have already had a great positive impact on the students.

Now, in terms of their writing, here are some tips about what characteristics the great "reflexiones" had:

1. They developed their ideas in depth, and showed a clear organization.
2. They connected their work/the posting to their own experiences and the classroom material studied (i.e. many refer back to one or several of the 5 C's of foreign language learning).
3. Carefully reviewed their writing (agreements, verb tenses and forms, accents, 'ñs,' etc...).
4. Had at least a sentence or two as a way of conclusion.

We hope these tips can help you improve your reflexiones!


  1. Marcos, I have two undergrads who are writing their thesis this year on reflective writing and CBL. This post will be of interest to them. Thanks for posting!

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