Friday, August 9, 2013

Business Spanish: Turning Students into Social Media Marketing Consultants

Students might know about social media, but most do not know about social media marketing. That's what I'll be teaching them this semester, and that's what they will be doing for their consulting clients.
by Ann Abbott

It's been two years since I taught our "Spanish for Business" course. I missed it.

Business Spanish is, according to my friend Darcy Lear, a "hot-potato course:" it's on the books on many campuses, but the faculty don't like it, don't want it and aren't really sure how to teach it.

Not me. I love this course. Because I love business, and I love Spanish. Let me be clear, though. I love business not in a business school kind of way. Certainly not in a Republican, free-enterprise kind of way. And I don't love it in a business-is-better-than-the-humanities kind of way.

I love the creativity of business. The problem-solving involved in business. I absolutely love how it is solution-oriented. If you truly know about about business (not just stereotypes), you know that being successful in business requires critical thinking, an ability to recognize and appreciate multiple perspectives, excellent communication skills--all things that we tout as hallmarks of the humanities.

So coming back to teaching "Business Spanish" feels like an opportunity for me to do more than just teach what I love. I'm taking this as an opportunity to use all those things I love about business...and treat my course like a business!
My Business Spanish students will be social media marketing consultants.
When I described my plans to my friend Holly Nibert, she told me I was brave. Yeah. I like that!

Here's my plan in a nutshell:

  • I have 20 students.
  • I will form five teams of four students.
  • Each team will manage one social media account for one client.
  • I will teach students about social media marketing, and they will implement the concepts into posts for their clients.
  • In addition to their posts, students will produce three items: 1) a consulting contract; 2) a social media marketing plan; and 3) a poster that represents their work and their learning.

There are many other details, of course. I'll share those as I post throughout the semester.

Do you think students will like this? Do you think they will learn from it? Are you teaching Business Spanish? Are you changing things, too? Let me know!


  1. I love your ideas, Ann! And your enthusiasm, too!

  2. Thank you, MaryJo. Jill was my Business Spanish student back when I was just starting to introduce a couple of lessons on social media marketing. Now look at her and the business you two have together. :)