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Showing posts from September, 2012

Student Reflection

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by Michelle Lee ¡Hola a todos! My name is Michelle Lee and I am currently a senior double majoring in Anthropology and Spanish. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m primarily interested in cultures and languages! I have been taking Spanish courses since 6th grade; many people ask me if I am fluent and the answer is no! One of my goals in life is to become fluent in Spanish and I am still in the process of working on it. Spanish has been a huge part of my life and I can't imagine ever giving it up. This past summer I had the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do – study abroad! I chose to go to Granada, EspaƱa primarily because 90% of my Spanish professors have been from Spain so I am more used to their vocabulary usage. Plus, who doesn’t want to spend a summer in gorgeous Europe? Although I only spent two months in Granada, my confidence in speaking improved and my vocabulary greatly expanded. This semester I will be volunteering as a tutor for a second grad…

Student Reflection

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by Megan Creighton

"Working at Leal Elementary School"

For my volunteer assignment in Spanish 232, I am working in a dual-language kindergarten class at Leal Elementary School, helping with daily tasks and instructions. The teacher I work under has just moved to the U.S. from a town just outside of Madrid, and has been welcoming and receptive to me volunteering in her classroom. In the class there are about 19 kids, about 11 of whom are native Spanish speakers, and 9 of whom are native English speakers, which I think makes for a very interesting dynamic. Although it is a dual-language classroom, instruction is supposed to be in Spanish 95% of the time.
When I met the volunteer coordinator for orientation, she briefed me on expectations for volunteers at Leal, along with the school's philosophy, and corresponding policies. Leal hires many volunteers from the community, and all are expected to be role models for the children, which includes acting in a professional manner…

Student Reflection

My background with Spanish and perspective on language learning
by Megan Creighton
My name is Megan Creighton and I am senior in my last semester at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. I have been taking Spanish classes since second grade and have always felt that learning Spanish was fun and exciting. However, I didn’t come to really appreciate the importance of learning a foreign language until my junior year of high school. That year I had a Spanish teacher that changed my perspective on language learning as well as the value of of a good work ethic and perseverance. Unlike other Spanish classes where teachers would consistently revert to English for the ease of clarification, this teacher instituted a truly Spanish-only classroom. Because of her strict demeanor and classroom policies, I was terribly intimidated. Moreover, I was overwhelmingly confused during the first few weeks because I could not understand her quick-paced Cuban dialect. When kids like me consequently ga…