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Showing posts from May, 2011

Impact of Spanish Community Service Learning

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by Ann Abbott


Do you have to hand in an end-of-the-year activities report? Do you hate doing it? Does it feel like bean counting?


I know the feeling. But looking at the numbers can actually be helpful. Your community partners have to do this kind of reporting all the time when they apply for and report back on grants and within their internal and external communications.


There are many ways to measure activity, importance and impact. Numbers do not tell the whole story. But they are one piece of the puzzle. And here are my numbers regarding teaching and program coordination for academic year 2010-11. (OJO: the numbers represent available spaces in the courses I teach/coordinate; I did not count actual enrollments in each and every section. Hence the phrase, "up to.") 5 courses taught/coordinated SPAN 202 Business SpanishSPAN 208 Oral SpanishSPAN 228 Spanish CompositionSPAN 232 Spanish in the CommunitySPAN 332 Spanish & Entrepreneurship725 (up to) students in all five courses

Student Reflection

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by Hanna Perhai
Hello, once again! Now, unfortunately, for the last time.
The semester has flown by, especially my time in Spanish in the Community. I'd just like to close the semester with some highlights from my experience with S.O.A.R.
My favorite thing, by far, has been getting to know my student. Over the months, I've learned how he learns best, where his strengths lie, and what he likes to do. I know that mental math is not his strong suit, but he almost always gets the right answer if he just writes out the problem. He reads very well in both Spanish and English, but he understands the story better if he reads it in Spanish. We got the chance to read through a substantially long book in Spanish about Bambi. This was one of the best parts of my time with my student. We switched reading every page so that he would get practice reading a difficult book, and then I got practice reading out loud in Spanish. I honestly think that if a person were to listen to us …

Videos for Comunidades: Más allá del aula (3)

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[Note from Ann Abbott: As an extra project, one of the "Spanish in the Community" students watched the videos that accompany Comunidades: Más allá del aula and has blogged about several topics that emerged for her. You can see the videos yourself: click on this link for Comunidades: Más allá del aulaBy "Welcome," choose "Unidad 1" from the dropdown menuHit the "Go" buttonClick on "Videos" in the left navigation column]by Haley Dwyer
Topics
Although the accents were the most challenging part of watching these videos, the range of topics was the most interesting for me. The vast majority of the topics that were discussed during the videos were both informational and pertinent to the information that I have learned throughout the semester. Because many of the topics that were discussed are not things that I normally talk about, in English or in Spanish, my knowledge of the Spanish language was truly tested.
The main thing that I noticed while…

Videos for Comunidades: Más allá del aula (2)

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[Note from Ann Abbott: As an extra project, one of the "Spanish in the Community" students watched the videos that accompany Comunidades: Más allá del aula and has blogged about several topics that emerged for her. You can see the videos yourself: click on this link for Comunidades: Más allá del aulaBy "Welcome," choose "Unidad 1" from the dropdown menuHit the "Go" buttonClick on "Videos" in the left navigation column]by Haley Dwyer
Accents
Throughout watching these videos, the one thing that I believe challenged my Spanish the most is the varying accents that I heard. Because most of my Spanish language learning has been spent in a classroom and not traveling the world, I have only been exposed to a few different accents. Listening to the different accents was both frustrating and enjoyable. Not only did the accents make what the speakers were saying easier or difficult to understand but I also noticed that the way in whic…

Videos for Comunidades: Más allá del aula (1)

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[Note from Ann Abbott: As an extra project, one of the "Spanish in the Community" students watched the videos that accompany Comunidades: Más allá del aula and has blogged about several topics that emerged for her. You can see the videos yourself:
click on this link for Comunidades: Más allá del aulaBy "Welcome," choose "Unidad 1" from the dropdown menuHit the "Go" buttonClick on "Videos" in the left navigation column]by Haley Dwyer


Language Learning
Along with our Spanish in the Community textbook comes a supplemental website that is full of interesting resources that I was unaware of. For example, there are about thirteen different sets of videos from native Spanish speakers. These videos cover every topic imaginable with speakers from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Watching all of these videos taught me many different things.  Because I have not been exposed to that many different types of speakers, it was interesting t…

Student Reflection

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by Kendra Dickinson Hello all,
As some of you may know, I have been working in the Extension Office of Hispanic Outreach as part of my Capstone Project for my minor in the Environmental Fellows Project. Over the semester I devoted myself to projects such as a Water Quality Survey given to Spanish-speakers, a Latin American Literature Reading Group, researching world environmental, health and hunger problems, translating and editing materials in English and Spanish, and a project called Scientific Animations Without Borders, working on scripts for videos in English and Spanish. Looking back on the semester, I remember when I first approached my minor advisor, looking for a project. He suggested that I find a project to fulfill my minor’s Capstone Project that combined my major, Spanish, and my minor, Environmental Studies, in order to do a multidisciplinary project that used my strengths and put to use my studies here at the university.
Overall, I could not be more happy that I did that, …

Student Reflection

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by April Nwatah
Hey readers!
Can you believe that this semester is coming to an end?! Spring semester always seems to fly faster than fall, and every semester that brings me closer to graduation (Spring 2012) seems to fly faster than any other. It was a surprise to look at my calendar the other day and realize that my last day of volunteering was upon me. Today was my last day volunteering with Salt and Light Ministries and I’m generally not too good with endings. It makes me sad to think that I may never see certain people again. I’ve gotten used to seeing the same kids and families every Monday. It still hasn’t really sunk in that I’m finished…
I guess it’s a good thing that I have plans to keep working in the community! (=
As a student living on campus, it’s generally pretty easy to get caught up in what I like to call “the campus bubble.” In previous semesters at the university I found myself not leaving campus for months at a time. During such periods, I would tend to get quite antsy…

Student Reflection

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by Haley Dwyer
Well, my time at the Refugee Center has finally come to a close and I’m sad to say that unfortunately I have had to call it quits earlier than I thought. Over the past three weeks, I have been getting sicker and sicker. Recently, I found out that not only did I get lucky enough to get mono in the last month of the semester but also I now have a sinus infection along with the mono. Being sick is not fun. When you are sick, going to class, talking to friends, walking up the stairs, and even eating lunch is painful. Add in speaking a foreign language with a native Spanish speaker and it can get overwhelming very quickly. I have learned a lot from being sick and working at the Center over the past couple of weeks.
I learned that it is important to take things slow. When you are sick, there is a large part of your brain that is devoted to simply attempting to deal with being sick, so mistakes are made easier. Although making a mistake is not the end of the world, it can be the…