by Ann Abbott
It's really nice when students are genuinely excited about doing Spanish community service learning (CSL) because it connects to their values, experiences and goals. Here is an e-mail I received this summer from a student. It also shows the appeal that Spanish CSL can have for heritage speakers. And finally, it's so nice to have males take an interest in the class; most of our Spanish students are females.
To Whom This May Concern:
I'm writing regarding the class SPAN 232, Spanish in the Community. I was browsing through classes I was interested in adding to my schedule and this one struck me as really intriguing. I've taken a Spanish placement exam at UIUC, but don't really recall what I received, as my foreign language requirement was met in high school. So, while I don't have any formal Spanish language education at the collegiate level, as I'm sure you can tell my surname (and first name for that matter), I am of Hispanic decent, thus Spanish is in fact not a "foreign" language to me.
While English is the primarily language spoken in my household, I do believe I have strong (enough) Spanish skills to allow me to succeed in this class. I've traveled many times to Spanish-speaking countries for personal and professional reasons where I had to employ my language skills in addition to communicating with relatives with limited English skills. More than developing my Spanish skills, the prospect of being able to help Hispanic residents of Champaign-Urbana, which this class if offering is really the selling point for me. Far too often does the University and University students place themselves in a bubble and isolate themselves from the outside community. My involvement with [XYZ] (a co-ed Latino fraternity) and employment at the Latino/a Studies Program helps keep me informed to some of our community issues and it would be great to actually engage in them.
I do understand that the course was reserved for Spanish majors, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask if there are still some openings. ... If there is any information about how I can go about possibly being in this class, please don't hesitate to contact me, it'll really mean a lot.
Thank you in advance,