Friday, December 19, 2014

Reflections on Teaching about Immigration in a Spanish Community Service Learning Course

by Ann Abbott

I didn't attend the ACTFL conference in San Antonio this year, but I was slated to be on a panel did send a screencast so that my fellow panelists could share my information. Click here to see and listen to the screencast: "Reflection on Teaching Immigration." 

Here's the description of the panel:

Infusing Immigration Dynamics in our Global Classrooms

Immigration has historically been a controversial topic and can be difficult to discuss in a respectful way in the foreign language classroom. In this session, we examine strategies to incorporate this topic in the curriculum, and teaching methods and materials to utilize in university and high school language classrooms.

Presenter(s): Katherine Fowler-Cordova, Miami University; Annie Abbott, University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign; Jennene Alexander, Monroe High School

I usually think of ACTFL as a place for me to share very concrete ideas, lesson plans, tips, etc. That way, people can leave with something very tangible in their hands, and they can even turn around and implement it in their own teaching if they want to.

This time, though, I wanted to take a broader view of things. I wanted to look back over the ten years (yes, ten years) that I have been doing Spanish community service learning and tease out some of the things that I have learned about teaching about immigration over that time. The result is the screencast above. (I have so much more to say, and so many specific examples of teach main theme, but a Jing screencast can only last five minutes.)

Here are the slides on SlideShare:

What are your thoughts about teaching language students about immigration? What successes have you had? What topics or lesson plans have flopped, and what did you learn from that? How comfortable are you teaching about immigration? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you, Katie Fowler, for your idea about having a panel on this topic, for inviting me, and for creating such a dynamic mixture of talented language educators as panelists.

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