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Showing posts from May, 2012

Student Spotlight: Jacqui Kukulski

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by Ann Abbott


Many students who take Spanish community service learning classes are also interested in going on to medical school. I agree with them that being able to use Spanish in a clinical setting--not just a Spanish classroom--is a great asset when applying to medical school and beyond. I would suggest that all students who want to combine premed and Spanish study what Jacqui Kukulski has done.

Study abroad. (Just be sure you truly immerse yourself in the language and culture. You need to make an effort to do this; it doesn't just happen.)Get actual work experience using your Spanish in a health-care setting. Jacqui did this as part of her "Spanish in the Community" community service learning work. She made the effort to find a place for herself at the Frances Nelson Health Clinic, even though they are not an official community partner. Build your resume in a way that truly highlights your accomplishments. Jacqui's resume doesn't have the traditional "w…

Tests for Spanish Community Service Learning Courses

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by Ann Abbott


How do you test students in a Spanish community service learning class? That is a question that people often ask.


I have already shared one test that I gave this semester.

Final exam for SPAN 232 Spanish in the Community


Here is the take-home test that I gave in my other course--a content-based course about social entrepreneurship that also incorporates CSL work:


SPAN 332 Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship


1.Encuentra en Hacesfalta.org.mx un anuncio para un vacante que te interese de verdad.
2. Además de leer con cuidado el anuncio, explorala página web de la organización que escogiste.
3.Escribe en español una carta de presentación de dos páginas, solicitando el puesto. Sigue todas las reglas sobre las cartas de presentación, menos la que dice que deben ser de una sóla página. Te pueden ser útiles estas guías: ·http://www.donempleo.com/carta-presentacion.asp ·http://www.modelocurriculum.net/como-escribir-la-carta-de-presentacion.html ·https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu…

Good Examples for Community Service Learning Students about Culture in Education

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by Ann Abbott


Earlier this month I participated in the "Responding to Immigrants National Conference: Bridging Research and Practice to Meet the Needs of Immigrants in New Growth Communities." My workshop was a "how-to" session on getting started with a community service learning (CSL) course.

Mostly, however, I was interested in the sessions I attended. There is a lot of really great research being done about serving the needs of immigrants in education and human services. One session in particular provided very good examples of what "culture" looks like in education: "Immigrant Integration and Civic Engagement in a Chicago Suburb" by Melissa Abad and Julio Capales, Sociology, University of Illinois-Chicago. Here are just a few examples of missed opportunities for transcultural competence in schools.

Officials felt that Latino parents were not involved in their children's education. Why? Because they didn't show up to the PTA meetings. I…

Language Use in the Community: An ACTFL Research Priority

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by Ann Abbott


Out of the many positive things ACTFL does for our profession, one of the latest efforts involves establishing and supporting research priorities. As explained in "Moving Language Education Forward: ACTFL's Research Priorities Initiative" (The Language Educator April 2012), the project follows these steps:
1. Researchers conducted reviews of the literature in nine research priority categories. Those reviews will be published this summer.
2. Those research priorities were condensed to five areas:


Foreign Language Teacher Preparation Model Programs: Documentation, Implementation, and OutcomesProfiles of High-Performing Foreign Language Teachers in K-12 SettingsLanguage Use in the CommunityMentoring K-16 Foreign Language Teachers and Classroom DiscourseHigh-Leverage Teaching Practices

3. Later this year, ACTFL will fund research projects in those five areas. "We are hopeful that in Phase II, research projects will be undertaken at multiple sites across the…

Student Spotlight: Grace Larson

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by Ann Abbott


Now that she has graduated from the University of Illinois, Grace Larson has job plans. They just don't involve an office. Or even a building.


Grace is applying for jobs in wilderness therapy. She has taken her passion for climbing and outdoors adventures and combined that with her solid academic background, work experiences and proven ability to work with a diverse group of people. I know that Grace will excel in these jobs. 


As she was preparing her applications, Grace asked me for a letter of recommendation. I always ask students to give me the information I need to write a good letter, and I'd like to share with you what Grace sent me. My hope is that Grace's words will show students how their behavior in the classroom (and in the community!) really counts. 

Hey Ann!
So, some basic info about myself that you might want to know:
The course I took with you was Span332, Spanish and Entrepreneurship, this Spring 2012. I do not yet know my final grade in the course-…

Student Spotlight: Gabrielle Wooden

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by Ann Abbott


So many of my students just graduated this past weekend. Congratulations to all of them! It is a tough job market, and I know that many of them are struggling with tough decisions. Should I go to grad school? Should I go now or after working for a few years? How can I find a job that allows me to move out on my own? I really want to live abroad, but how can I find a job in another country?


Gabrielle Wooden has made her decision and knows exactly what her plans are: Teach for America.


Here are a few facts about Gabrielle:

She had a Global Studies major and a Spanish minor.She took "Spanish in the Community" with me and worked at Booker T. Washington Elementary School.She continued doing Spanish community service learning (CSL) work in my "Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship" course.She studied abroad in Alicante, Spain.She friended me on Facebook, so I am lucky to be able to follow her adventures and stay in touch with her. I loved it when she posted pictu…

Student Reflection

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by Brianna Anderson
Hola!
Today I chose to include a picture of the library in Garden Hills.  The library in this school is fantastic—so much better than the one that I remember from my elementary years.  If memory serves me correctly, my library was about the same size as the one in Garden Hills, but the books were in terrible shape.  Reading is such an integral part of education that it only makes sense to keep a library in the best condition.
But I really don’t want to focus this post on the library of Garden Hills and how I feel reading has helped my student progress academically.  I want to focus this post on what working in the community has done for me.  And that you just can’t really capture in a photo.
I have had the opportunity to work with three different organizations during my time as a student in SPAN 232/332.  My main placement was SOAR, as I’m sure has been made clear at this point.  I have also volunteered several times with the Wesley Evening Food Pantry.  They are often…

Student Reflection

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by Susannah Koch


I cannot believe that it is the end of my junior year and that this semester is over. Since coming back from Spain in December everything has flown by in a huge blur, and that includes this exciting spring semester. I have really enjoyed my experience in Spanish 232 and would like to dedicate this blog post to discussing how I have grown this semester, what I have learned, what I hope for the future and the summary that I gave to Alejandra about my time at Provena.


This class has been a very unique experience amongst the other classes that I have taken at UIUC. I have always been drawn to activities and groups of a philanthropic nature and this class was no exception. Being able to combine my love of learning languages and my love of helping others has been the ideal experience and has allowed me to grow as both a student and person. Although my time in class and in the community were enjoyable, I was also forced outside of my comfort zone and made to realize how much m…

Student Reflection

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by Susannah Koch
Since my last post about the community health fair, things have really died down in terms of the amount of work I have been doing for Provena. I was unable to go to the heath fair at Garden Hills School in Urbana the weekend after the community health fair and have been mainly doing organizational work with Alejandra. She has been very busy with classes and conferences in Chicago about translation services. It is exciting to see that she is continuing her education and trying to make the language services department as successful as possible. I have grown to admire and respect Alejandra very much because she has such passion for what she does. I hope to one day be as passionate about my career as she is about hers.
The work that I have been doing is in relation to the organization of the office and making the whole organization run smoother. Although this work is not glamorous, it is important to realize the significance of secretarial and organizational tasks because…

Student Reflection

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by April Nwatah
For the past 4 years my mailing address has always ended in “Urbana, IL 61801.” However, since I’ve only lived here as a student, it should have actually read something along the lines of “The Bubble, IL 61801." I like to refer to the UIUC campus as “The Bubble” because it’s not an accurate representation of the real communities of Urbana and Champaign. During my first couple years of college I hardly ever left The Bubble, since I lived in the dorms and had pretty much everything that I needed right here. Everything that I had to say about Urbana and Champaign were related to the campus and nothing else. To me, Champaign stopped at around First Street and anything east of Lincoln Avenue in Urbana was Hipster territory. Needless to say, I was living in a false reality.
Doing Spanish Community Service Learning (through SPAN 232 and SPAN 332) has brought me out of The Bubble and into the communities of Urbana and Champaign through the various projects that I’ve done. T…

Comunidades Activity Teaches Services Learning Students a "Headline" Skill

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by Ann Abbott


I recently read this article about the importance of writing a follow-up note after a job interview.  Basically, the conclusion is that if you do not send a thank you message, you will not get the job.


I'm happy to say that my Spanish community service learning (CSL) textbook, Comunidades: Más allá del aula, includes an activity in the very last Lección that requires students to write a thank you note to their supervisors in the community. There are specific instructions about what information to include, because I found over the years that students did not always know what made a compelling note. They need to include specific details to support an over-arching statement of what they have learned by working at the organization. Not only is this professionally important, it is also culturally important. 


I always tell students that in most contexts in Hispanic cultures, it is very important to both say hello and then goodbye to everyone in the room, the office or the hom…

Student Reflection

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by Haily Pribyl-Shay
Although there were numerous moments of pure fear and embarrassment this past semester at Leal, there was not a day spent without heartfelt gestures from students and staff that made me feel at ease.  I became familiar with the routines of my teachers.  I also understood what my purpose was in the classroom and how I was best able to help the students.
My routine usually began by sitting at my table in the corner of the fifth grade classroom.  I would observe the class and wait as they finished up their Daily Oral Language exercises.  The fifth graders would then be split up into vocabulary groups to check their homework, and I was assigned a student to help with their homework in spelling or vocabulary.  After working with the fifth graders, I would head to the second grade classroom.  There were two other volunteers in the classroom when I was there, so we usually spread ourselves out amongst the different activity stations.  At first nervous and intimidated by my…

Community-based Team Project Reflections

What?
The objective of our team project is to create a handbook on ways of fundraising.Our goal is to be able to give the next year’s class of SPAN 332 a guidebook on how to tackle the challenges of starting a fundraiser.This includes information on how promote an image (branding), networking in the community (starting a fundraiser), and fundraising ideas specifically in the Champaign area (outlining the pro’s and con’s).We’ve divided our project into three main components in which we think will be usefully information to pass down to the next group of students enrolled in Spanish 332.


One of the challenges that we faced as a group was figuring out the initial steps of starting a fundraiser.We found it difficult in planning a fundraiser without knowing what steps to take and without the tools to help us execute our plans.Our group was very confused and slightly frustrated because we had no direction on what to do.Since we felt like we were lacking the resources to start a fundraiser (no…

Community-based Team Project Reflection

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Our group wrote a grant proposal and request to Zip Car in order to expand the transportation for the Community-Based Learning classes offered by the Spanish Department.  Our grant request was for the Public Engagement Grant via the University of Illinois Department for Public Engagement.  This grant is for community-based projects that also relate to course development and educational benefits for students as well as tie in with the university’s mission.  Because Spanish in the Community and Spanish and Entrepreneurship are both community-based courses, the grant perfectly fits the needs of these students.  These courses use hands-on experience in the community to not only help students improve their Spanish language skills, but also develop a sense of understanding of the world around them.  Specifically in the second course, students learn how to use these skills to work with and develop non-profit organizations and social businesses.  Many students also work with community partner…

Community-based Team Project Reflections

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¿Qué? Our team Valentino Contri, Maggie Flynn and myself, GraceLarson, worked to design and present information about our two community basedlearning Spanish classes to the community at a local symposium and showcase.The classes we are presenting are Spanish 232, Spanish in the Community andSpanish 332, Spanish and Entrepreneurship, designed and taught by our professorAnn Abbott. Our audience was the Public Engagement Symposium, which took placeat the ARC on April 18th, and the Service Learning and Social EntrepreneurshipShowcase which will be taking place in the Illini Union on May 2nd.
Our mission was simple: Effectively provide informationabout our classes to the professors, students and community members whoattended the showcase and symposium, as well as receiving feedback from them.We aim to spread the word about this class; where we are involving ourselves inthe community, and why. Not only are we looking to inform future students, butinform other professors about this style of …

Community-based Team Project Reflections

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The goal of our group project was to complete a service-learning grant application proposal for the State Farm Youth Advisory Board (SYAB).  Each year the SYAB service-learning grant is awarded to projects around the country, with funding up to $100,000. We selected the Access to Higher Education/Close the Achievement Gap issue area because we felt that we can relate to the issue because of the volunteer service that we are involved in.  Our team member, Susan, Alex and I all volunteer in an educational setting; Susan during school hours and Alex and I work with an after school program (SOAR).  We agreed that the education issue area was something that we are most passionate about.  At the beginning of our project, we did a lot of research into the grant application and other service-learning projects in order to fully understand what kind of projects the SYAB usually supports.  The next steps involved speaking with Professor Abbott and SOAR coordinator to learn more about the project…

Partnering with the Community via Service Learning

by Ann Abbott


I am excited about today's conference at the iHotel on the UIUC campus-- Responding to Immigrants: Bridging Research and Practice to Meet the Needs of immigrants in New Growth Communities.


My session is a workshop--"Partnering with the Community via Service Learning"--from 1:30 - 3:00 in the Humanities Room. (You can see the entire conference schedule here.) It will be a "how-to" workshop, designed specifically for people who want to start a CSL course or program. Community representatives will be welcomed as well; sometimes the initiative for a CSL course comes from the community itself.


Here are some materials that I will share during the workshop.


SPAN 232 "Spanish in the Community"
Syllabus / Course calendar

SPAN 332 "Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship"
Syllabus / Course calendar

Course quiz, contracts and permissions

Wiki student sign-up

Wiki student work log

Community-based team projects

Spanish CSL Facebook page

Reflective Essay Pro…

Community-based Team Project Reflections

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Team: Megan, Alicia, Katie and Jaclyn
¿Qué? Nuestro grupo tuvimos un proceso largo llegando al concepto de nuestro proyecto, pero finalmente decidimos hacer un proyecto creando videos informativos sobre diferente formas de tecnología.Nosotros enfocamos en como crear una cuenta de Skype. Primero, tomamos un foto de cada paso y explicamos en español que necesita hacer para crear su propio cuenta.Incluimos como cargar Skype, crear una cuenta, comprar dinero para llamar a un teléfono fijo y como llamar otra gente con una cuenta de Skype. Trabajamos juntas para crear el video y dividimos los objetivos de la propuesta para que cada persona harían la misma cantidad de trabajo.Creando un video fue muy divertido, también hicimos todo con la meta que es fácil para entender.Con el video, vamos a ponerlo en un blog que creamos con la esperanza que las próximas clases continúan haciendo videos de diferente tecnologías para el consumidor.  --Megan
Cómo llegamos al proyecto Al principio, nuestro grupo de…

Community-based Team Project Reflections

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What? La Línea es una línea de apoyo para inmigrantes en lachampaign-urbana comunidad. Desde cuando empezó su misión ha cambiado un poco.Al principio La Línea fue dirigido hacia inmigrantes hispanos, pero hemosdescubierto que hay muchos inmigrantes en nuestra comunidad que necesitanapoyo, no solamente hispanos. Por eso La Línea ha decidido ampliar su alcancepara ayudar a más gente. El problema que tiene La Línea es que mucha gente nosabe de nosotros y por eso nuestro grupo quiere hacer un video para informar a másgente de lo que hace La Línea. Nuestrovideo será muy corto y casi como un comercial para La Línea. --Melissa
So what? La Línea Latina is a helpline that connects people,specifically immigrants, with contacts and resources within the community. Itis also dedicated to social justice. La Línea is a collaboration betweenUniversity of Illinois students and the University YMCA with the goal ofbridging the gap between the Latino community in Champaign and communityservices. Clie…

Community-based Team Project Reflections

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¿Qué?
Our group intended to write a social media marketing plan to promote the course SPAN 232 and then implementarlo. Por la razón que ya existe un grupo en Facebook para Spanish community service learning, we wanted to make sure to incorporate it into our project. Also, because our professor has a Twitter page that she uses to promote Spanish community service learning, we wanted to use it to promote the class as well.

Although we knew that we wanted to use Facebook and Twitter, we did not plan out details as to how we were going to use them. What we ended up doing was sending out mass emails to registered student organizations (RSO) and departments on campus that we thought would have students that would be interested in the course. IN the email we included links to the Facebook and Twitter page so that students could learn more about the program and "like/follow" the pages if they desired, but we didn't do very much with those pages to reach out to our target populat…