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Friday, April 20, 2012

What Is at Stake in Your Spanish Community Service Learning Classroom?

by Ann Abbott


$100 were at stake in yesterday's "Spanish and Entrepreneurship" class.

We did the Kiva.org lesson plan that I do every year in which I donte $100 to a Kiva entrepreneur.

During the first round, some students simply "gave in," and let the other Kiva entrepreneur win. But by the second round, the larger teams were really arguing for their chosen entrepreneur. "But my entrepreneur has a large family, all women, and no men around to support them," one student said. "But my entrepreneur," another student said, "has a six-month-old baby who needs an operation. This loan might save the baby's life."

I translated the conversation above, but it is really wonderful to see and hear the students using their Spanish to accomplish something, to advocate for someone--and something--that they believe in.

Would they do that if $100 of my money weren't at stake? I don't know. But this makes me want to design even more classroom activities in which something real is at stake.

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