Showing posts from January, 2013

Chancellor Phyllis Wise "Gets" Public Engagement

by Ann Abbott

It is very encouraging to work in a university in which the Chancellor seems to really understand what public engagement is and its importance. For us. For others. For students. For faculty. For image and branding, sure. But also for real exchanges of information and intellectual advancements that wouldn't happen in other ways.

We received the message below from Chancellor Wise today. I feel that her voice from above frames the work that my Spanish students do in their community service learning. It legitimizes, in a way, their service to our local Spanish-speakers. It echoes the importance that they find in their work beyond campus.

I also hope that our department--the Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese--can come up with a project that reflects our commitment to languages and cultures.

Thank you, Chancellor Wise, for this message and this project.

To All of Our Campus Community:

As you know, part of the land grant mission of the University of Illinoi…

What Comes after Spanish Community Service Learning?

by Ann Abbott

Two educational situations in particular seem to evoke strong reactions from my Spanish community service learning students:

Students who have worked in a bilingual classroom throughout the semester are shocked by what happens when the class has a substitute teacher who does not speak Spanish. Gradually, over the course of the semester, my students become accustomed to a classroom atmosphere in which learning took place in Spanish or both Spanish and English. Then all of a sudden, one day, with a monolingual English-speaking substitute teacher, they see the learning and classroom discipline come to a screeching halt. My students often jump in and play very important roles in those situations, surprising even themselves at how much they can contribute.Students who have done their community service learning work in a school or with any other type of community partner organization are pleasantly surprised by how important their roles as interpreters are during parent-teacher …

Why Emigrate? Answering This in a Spanish Community Service Learning Class

by Ann Abbott

We have an economic public discourse on immigration in this country. And a criminal discourse.

We do not have a humanitarian public discourse on immigration. Not even a humane one, really.

So when students come to our Spanish community service learning courses, they bring with them the weight of that dominant discourse. That is, whether they are pro-immigration or not, the terms in which our students engage the topic of immigration reflect our dominant public discourse: the economic costs-benefits of immigration and the criminalization of the act of migration. This is not our students' fault, of course! It is simply our responsibility to broaden their thinking on the topic.

Lesson 14 in Comunidadesis titled ¿Por quĂ© emigrar? It shows students that there are myriad reasons for which people make the difficult decision to leave behind their homes, families, languages and cultures.

One, just one of those reasons is to escape violence and lack of personal security.

This w…

Live and Work in Spain: Language and Culture Assistants

by Ann Abbott
I hope that all my students will consider applying for this.

Dear Professors, Instructors and Administrators,The Education Office of the Embassies of Spain in the United States and Canada is proud to announce the opening of the application period of the Language and Culture Assistants Program in Spain.
This wonderful program allows recent college graduates, and even juniors and seniors, to spend a year or two in Spain working as English or French Language Assistants in Spanish K-12 schools.
Please, take a look at the website of the program and at the Application Manual, and feel free to distribute it amongst your students and your community. We anticipate a large number of assignments for 2013-14:
Attached you will find the promotional brochure of the program, which we hope you and your students will find informative.
The application period opens on January 10th, and applic…