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Showing posts from October, 2010

Student Reflection

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by Katie Dudek


Parent-Teacher Conferences

When I was in elementary, middle, and high school, parent-teacher conferences meant one thing: no school.  These two or three days that my teachers met with my parents as well as my classmates’ parents enabled me to sleep in late and spend the rest of the morning watching cartoons like Arthur and Franklin (yes, even when I was in high school) while making plans with friends for the afternoon.  While enjoying my free time away from the classroom, not once did I think about what was going on at these conferences, or how important they truly are.  Now I know.


A few weeks ago, I received an email that was sent to all of the University of Illinois students currently enrolled in the Spanish in the Community course.  It relayed the message that Central High School in Champaign was in need of translators for their parent-teacher conferences.  Although I was hesitant at first, I decided to email the secretary to say that I would be very happy to help.  N…

Student Reflection

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by Allison Kutzki
Since mid-September I have been working at Leal Elementary School in Urbana in a first grade bilingual classroom. At this level, most of the day students spend speaking in Spanish, but English is also used to teach certain subjects. While I am there, I mostly work one on one with the students out in the hallway on reading or math activities. I also get to spend a half hour of my time outside with them at recess. During this time, I am able to play games such as tag or hop scotch or sometimes I just talk to them about their lives and what they like to do for fun. This is extremely rewarding for me because not only do I get the opportunity to relate to them on an educational level, but I also have the chance to build a relationship and trust with them in interacting outside of the school setting in a relaxed environment. Using Spanish in a situation like this, I believe already has improved my language skills immensely. Certain vocabulary words and expressions come up w…

Northwestern´s Global Engagement Summer Institute

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by Ann Abbott


You don´t have to be a Northwestern student to participate in their Global Engagement Summer Institute.  Besides the rich learning experience it obviously provides, I am impressed by all the skills students can develop through this international service learning program:

Language proficiency through immersion.Teamwork with members from diverse cultures.Global knowledge.Community consulting.The pre-departure training, rigorous yet well-supported field experience, and then the final learning summit really package the experience in a way that maximizes the learning and the students' abilities to transfer their newly honed and/or emerging skill set into other contexts.

UIUC Students: Practice Your Spanish outside of Class

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by Ann Abbott


Getting a major or minor in Spanish doesn't mean that you will be fluent in Spanish when you graduate.  Studying abroad definitely helps, but as many students know, if you stay for a semester you end up leaving just when your fluency is building.  Using your Spanish outside of class as much as possible helps, too.  If nothing else, the more you use your Spanish the more confident you become, and that's very useful.


Here's a chance to practice your Spanish at UIUC.


What is Mi Pueblo? Mi Pueblo is a student-run network of Spanish conversation groups.  This means that U of I students volunteer their time to lead 1-hour conversations in Spanish at different times and places around campus every week.  We have about 20 group leaders this semester, and many of them run groups together (i.e. two or three leaders per group).
How does it work? All you have to do is show up ready to speak Spanish.  We work on a drop-in no-RSVP policy, so anybody can come to any meeting when t…

Be an Interpreter at Central High School's Parent Teacher Conferences

by Ann Abbott


Champaign Central High School will host their parent-teacher conferences at the end of this month.  Please consider helping!  To prepare, please read this link about Spanish vocabulary related to parent-teacher conferences and this link about one student's experience working with parents and teachers to facilitate their communication.


Please contact Ms. Shmikler to make arrangements:

I have an opportunity for  your students to get some experience in translating Spanish!  Our parent teacher conferences are Thursday, October 28 (5:00 pm till 8 pm) and Friday, October 29 (8 till noon).  If you would pass this along, I sure would appreciate!!  My email is shmiklmi@champaignschools.org for any student interested!
Thanks!


Michelle Shmikler, Associate Principal's Secretary
Central High School
610 W University Ave
Champaign, IL
351-3915

Student Reflection: Dana Lange

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by Dana Lange


Buenos días! My name is Dana Lange and I’m a junior this year studying Spanish and environmental science at the good ole’ U of I. I’m a student in SPAN 232 this semester which is how I heard about this opportunity to blog about my experiences volunteering in the community.
I have been studying Spanish since I started high school and had a few informal encounters with the language in elementary school. Since I started, I knew that I wanted Spanish to be a part of my life. I love the language- learning about it and the cultures that speak it. Something about it just fascinates me! And even though we live in an English-speaking country, it hasn’t been difficult to incorporate Spanish into my daily life.
The past few months of my life have given me the opportunity to really learn Spanish- I spent the past spring semester and summer in Spain. I studied in Granada for 4 ½ months, hiked across northern Spain doing the Camino de Santiago for a month, and finished up the summer by …

Student Reflection

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by Katie Dudek



Back to the Fourth Grade
I still remember my first day of fourth grade.  As my family had just moved, I was going to a new school.  While I put my Airwalk sneakers on and placed all of my school supplies in my brand new monogrammed L.L.Bean backpack, I thought about how my day would go.  I was very nervous about what my teacher would be like, if I would like the other students in my class, and more importantly, whether or not they would like me.  As I prepared myself to volunteer in Ms. Bucio’s fourth grade bilingual classroom a few weeks ago, the same thoughts entered my mind.  What would the teacher I would be working with be like?  Would I get along with the students in her classroom?  Would they enjoy having me with them in their classroom?  Just like in the fourth grade, I had no reason to worry.  Though I did not have my Airwalks or a backpack with my initials on it this time, I walked out of Ms. Bucio’s classroom after my first day feeling the same relief and conte…