Showing posts from November, 2011

Student Reflection

by Jacqui Kukulski

That wasn’t the earth opening up and swallowing me up was it? I certainly hope not, but sometimes it looks like that happens to some people. I was helping translate for a man the other day and he was supposed to have a follow up appointment a long time ago, but he understood that he would get a letter in the mail telling him when his next appointment was. He had many problems and there was a bit of confusion but what was the saddest part was there wouldn’t have been any confusion if he hadn’t been forgotten. I haven’t been at Frances Nelson long enough to witness a lot of this, but the feeling I get is that this is all too common.

Patients don’t always get appointments. The schedule fills up faster than the patients can get an appointment. Patients miss appointments or never make a follow up. It was suggested to this man that he needs to take responsibility for himself, and make sure he gets the appointments he needs. But what about his side of …

Advice from Former Spanish CSL Student: Internships and Volunteering in Latin America

by Ann Abbott

I just heard from one of my former students, Sarah Moauro, who has built a wonderful international life for herself in Latin America. I know that so many of my current students would love to do exactly what Sarah is doing, and she actually has some really good, specific advice. If you want to contact Sarah, just let me know (!

Here's Sarah's message:

Hi Ann,
I hope you're doing well and that it's not too cold yet in Illinois! I was just thinking that if you have any students coming to/studying in Buenos Aires or Latin America in general this year, here are a couple of ideas you could let them know about.
Over the last couple of months, I have been volunteering at an NGO called Fundacion Pro Vivienda Social. They do microfinance programs to help communities improve their housing and neighborhoods by developing infrastructure. They're almost always looking for more interns, helping with research or with communications, so it i…

Champaign-Urbana: Volunteer Opportunity on Saturday

by Ann Abbott

Please consider volunteering and using your Spanish at this event:

This Saturday, November 12 from 10:00AM till 2:00PM there is a community fair at Lincoln Square in Urbana. Volunteers are needed. The name of the event is called "A community fair to connect working families with local services in East-Central Illinois," and participants will share information on where to obtain free medicare, dental services, access to healthy food, and so on. 
WHEN: November 12, 10:00AM - 2:00PM WHERE: Lincoln Square, 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana
Please contact Guadalupe at: Email: Phone: 217-344-8455

"You Have the Right to Remain Silent": Spanish Community Service Learning and Our Legal Rights

by Ann Abbott

What would you do if the police knocked on your door?

My first instinct would be to open it. 

But I would fight that instinct. I would ask them through the closed door what they wanted. Until I figured out the situation, I would give no information beyond my name. 

If the conversation continued, I would ask them if they had a warrant. If they said no, I would stop communicating. If they said yes, I would ask them to slip it under the door for me to verify. Those are  my rights.

I am a US citizen. White. I live in a very good neighborhood. I was raised to see the police as my ally. Truly, I don't think I have any reason to fear them. I want to be a good citizen, and I want to help the police create a safe community for all of us.

But it is our right to remain silent--and not just after they have arrested you, despite all the chatty people you see on Law & Order.

I teach this in my "Spanish in the Community" course. It's in Lección 14 ("¿Qué se debe hac…

Languages for Specific Purposes: One Look at the Role of Community Service Learning in LSP

by Ann Abbott

I was very happy to receive my copy of Specialised Languages in the Global Village: A Multi-Perspective Approach (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011) in the mail today. The book focuses on languages for specific purposes (LSP) and was edited by Carmen Pérez-Llantada and Maida Watson.

My contribution was Chapter Two "Social Entrepreneurship and Community Service Learning: Building Sustainable Non-profits and Language Programs" (p. 27-45).

You can see in the table of contents that the chapters cover a wide range of issues. I would especially recommend the chapter by Stefanie Stadler for anyone who is working on intercultural competence (and aren't we all). There are also very insightful pieces by several of my CIBER colleagues who have become my friends: Christine Uber Grosse, Maida Watson and Mary Risner.

The book is described in this way: "The status of LSP (Languages for Specialised Purposes) in the contemporary socio-cultural context is an ongoing centr…