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Showing posts from February, 2011

Student Reflection: April Nwatah

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by April Nwatah



This semester I will be volunteering with the ministry of Salt and Light. This ministry provides many services to the Urbana-Champaign community, including food and clothes distribution. From what I’ve heard, this is the first time that Spanish 232 is working with Salt and Light, so I am excited to be a pioneer in this project!
From what I have been told, there are many Spanish-speaking immigrants who come to Salt and Light, yet none of the staff speak Spanish. Therefore, my help will make an impact on their ministry. That feels really good to know (=
In terms of what I will be doing, my responsibilities will be pretty open-ended. I anticipate the need to translate documents and signs as needed. I also anticipate the need to be a bridge between the Spanish-speaking customers and the other volunteers and staff. Because my responsibilities are so open-ended, I acknowledge the fact that I will need to create a lot of my own opportunities to speak Spanish. I am excited about …

Student Reflection: Marlee Stein

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by Marlee Stein
Hello Everyone.
My name is Marlee and I am a sophomore at UIUC. I am currently a Spanish and Psychology major and unlike the majority of Spanish 232 students, I have yet to study abroad for an extended period of time.My passion for Spanish comes from my mother.My mother studied abroad in Barcelona her junior year of college and made many lifelong friends.To this day she is still friends with them, and our families have created a strong friendship.Growing up I was pen pals with the youngest daughter of my mother’s friend.Our families have visited each other a few times, and our connection really inspired me to want to learn the Spanish language and experience more of the Hispanic culture.My sophomore year of high school I went to the south of Spain and stayed with a home stay family in a very small town, Guadix.One day, the group I was traveling with took a day trip to C√≥rdoba and saw La mezquita.Instantly I was in awe, to this day it is my ultimate favorite place.The int…

Student Reflection

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by Kendra Dickinson



Hello Everyone!
As some of you may remember, I have been working in the Extension Office of Hispanic Outreach as part of an independent study. While I do many different tasks and aid a variety of different initiatives, the focus of my work is Environmental projects that affect Spanish-speaking and Latino communities. I have been working on a Water Quality Survey funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Illinois State Water Survey. Julia Bella Bravo and Francisco J. Seufferheld of the Office of Hispanic Outreach designed the survey. This week’s picture is of Francisco and me after a long afternoon of work. The survey was administered by Francisco in many cities and regions around the Midwest including Chicago and the Chicago suburbs, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kankakee, Champaign-Urbana and Milwaukee among others. The survey, written in Spanish and administered only to native Spanish speakers, aims at gaining more information about: (i) The perceived and act…

Student Reflection: Val Kaskovich

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by Val Kaskovich


Saludos!

My name is Val Kaskovich and I'm a senior here at UIUC double-majoring in Spanish and Economics. I'm very excited to be contributing to the Spanish & Illinois blog this semester! I have been studying for about ten years. As my interest in the language grew throughout high school, my decision to continue Spanish studies at the University of Illinois was truly a "no-brainer." During the Spring 2010 semester, I spent five life-changing months studying abroad in Bilbao, Spain. It was there that I fell in love with Basque and Spanish culture, achieved a level of fluency, and (best of all) learned a few new recipes! I'm now a travel addict and love to use my language skills wherever I can. Outside of Spain, I have been exposed to other cultures and dialects in Mexico, Argentina, and Cuba. Next I'd like to conquer Peru, Ecuador or Costa Rica! 
The thing I love most about language studies is that you never stop learning -- there is always a…

Emotions and Community Service Learning

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by Ann Abbott


My good friend, Marcos Campillo, shared this image on Facebook recently. Marcos is one of the most creative professors I know, so I am sure that his students will learn a lot and have fun with whatever activity he creates around these images.

It also reminded me of the range of emotions that Spanish community service-learning (CSL) students experience.  Now that we have had three weeks of classes, students have gone through many emotional stages.

Some students have been analytical and self-questioning: can I really commit to this course and the work in the community, given all my other responsibilities? Indeed, some students dropped the course after realizing that they couldn't commit to it.  That shows maturity, even though I would love for students to see the added value of hours spent in the community versus some other activities they might be doing.

One student in particular was downright scared. (I will share that case in a future post.) On her first visit to t…

Student Reflection

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by Kendra Dickinson
As some of you may remember, I am a senior in Spanish and the Environmental Fellows Program, and I recently started working at University of Illinois Office of Extension and Outreach, in the division of Hispanic Programming. I am working with two wonderfully intelligent and creative individuals, Julia Bello-Bravo and Francisco J. Seufferheld. They work tirelessly to provide programs and information to the Spanish-speaking and Latino members of the community, as well as engaging all members of the campus in programs that focus on Spanish-speaking countries.
For the past week and a half I have been helping them to prepare for two upcoming trips that aim at increasing the cultural knowledge of our campus community. The first trip, which will be led by Julia Bello-Bravo, is the Spain Wine Field Study Trip. This is a trip open to both faculty and students, taking place in April, which will tour Spain’s historic wine region. Participants will visit many locations in Spain,…

Student Reflection: April Nwatah

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Note from Ann:  I was very excited in our class today to find out that April has three blogs of her own.  This semester she will be guest blogging here about her experiences working in the community.


by April Nwatah



Hello world!
My name is April and I’m a junior at UIUC. I’m majoring in Global Studies with an area concentration in Latin America and a thematic area in Social Work. I’ve been studying Spanish since the 7th grade, but I hadn’t really had a decent command of the language until I came to college. Before Spanish 232, I had taken Spanish 103, 141, and 200. In the spring of my sophomore year, I studied abroad in Ecuador. While I attended an Ecuadorian university in Cumbaya (an upperclass suburb of Ecuador’s capital city - Quito) I lived with a host family in Lumbisi (a small semi-indigenous town). While in Ecuador I was also able to volunteer at a community center teaching English to a bunch of 8 and 9 year old kids. It was a crazy-awesome time!
After being in Ecuador, taking my c…

Student Spotlight Update: Lindsey Meyers

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by Ann Abbott
It's also so nice to stay in touch with former students, especially when they are doing great things and still using their Spanish.  I think current students are well-served when we can show them models of what a "Spanish major" can look like after graduation.
Last fall I posted about Lindsey Meyers' work in Ecuador.  After just about four months there, here is an update from Lindsey herself:
"I am learning so, so much here in Quito.  Por fin, after years of studying it, I feel like I am gaining a confident grasp of speaking Spanish.  I have finally learned to relax when I'm speaking, and not "THINK" so much, and I've realized that all the correct tenses are in my mind, and eventually are working their way into my speech.  I've tried my best to stop translating in my head, and accepted Spanish as it's own language, and that's helped a lot.
"With my variety of classes: 2nd grade english, Phys Ed, cooking in the kitchen…