Showing posts from April, 2015

Student Reflection

by Annette Popernik
La Mirada
Siendo ya casi el fin del año escolar, habrá unos cambios en La Línea. Nuestro “intern” se está graduando y tendremos uno nuevo para el verano. Entre este y otros cambios, el equipo ejecutivo decidió que queremos dejar las cosas listas y preparadas para los nuevos voluntarios y el nuevo equipo. Reflejamos que típicamente nos llegan menos llamadas en el verano pero aun ahorita en la primavera, no han habido muchas llamadas. Pensé en hacer más llamadas a otras agencias en la comunidad, como antes había hecho. La desventaja de hacer esto sería que posiblemente nos llegarían demasiadas llamadas o al contrario, muy pocas llamadas ya que no se sabe cuanto Hispano asiste a cada agencia. Me puse a pensar en otros lugares donde podríamos encontrar a muchos Hispanos. En cuanto cambie la mirada, o sea la forma de ver la situación, me llegó una muy buena idea.
Me acordé que la iglesia de St. Mary’s tiene un ministerio Hispano. Pensé que hay tantos Hispanos en el área d…

Grand Challenges and Community Service Learning

by Ann Abbott

Grand challenges from Ann Abbott

Resume Writing Tips

by Ann Abbott

Recently I was asked by a parent to give some advice on a student's draft of his resume. This person's child will graduate from college in May and look for a job, probably in sales. (That is a common first job.)

Although I'm not sharing the entire resume here, I still think that my comments can be helpful to anyone. And for the record, I always recommend Darcy Lear's services. They are very reasonably priced (it's a true investment), and the people she works with have great success.

Here's my message:

Show, don't tellHe needs verbs in his bullet points with real specific information. People are more interested in accomplishments than tasks. 
Quantify Can he add numbers/data to his bullet points to give a more precise idea of what he accomplished?
Sales He should do a search for qualities that employers seek in sales people. Off the top of my head I would imagine: willing to travel, not afraid to make cold calls, proactive…

Service Learning as Underdog within Departments

by Ann Abbott

I received a message from a colleague at another university who has run into resistance toward community service learning (CSL) from faculty because they say the word "service" implies that students are doing religious "mission" work.
This is what I replied to my colleague:  Oh, [Name]. It's so discouraging to always have to be explaining ourselves and proving ourselves. And it's usually to people for whom no amount of explaining would ever be enough anyway.

I've never, ever heard that particular confusion. But I have heard a lot of people say that it makes us look like a "service" department.

You can tell them that there is a journal called Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning and that there are many books and research articles published about "service learning." If they are unfamiliar with the term, they can see that it is a commonly accepted term in research venues as well as in umbrella organizations of highe…

Careers in Study Abroad: Advice from a Pro

by Ann Abbott

Study abroad programs are always looking for talent.

Our talented students (grad and undergrad) are passionate about languages and cultures and jobs that draw upon that passion.

I'm excited to hear what my friend Dr. Joan Solaún has to say.

Please join us!

Student Reflection

By Annette Popernik
¿Y ahora qué? Desde agosto de 2014, La Línea ha crecido y avanzado más de lo pensado. Tenemos un equipo más grande. Hemos tenido orientaciones y talleres para mejorar nuestras habilidades. Nuestra página de Facebook se ha desarrollado mucho. Hemos mandado nuestra información a diferentes agencias en la comunidad para poder mejor asistir a nuestros clientes. ¿Y ahora que? Mi plan personal para desarrollar a La Línea este semestre era involucrarnos más en la comunidad y esto ya lo hemos hecho. Pero decidimos tomar otro paso que tiene dos implicaciones: involucrarnos más en la comunidad universitaria y ganar dinero para tener un fondo para nuestros clientes.

El evento todavía se está preparando. Hay mucho que hacer antes de que llegue el 30 de abril. Somos una agencia sin fines de lucro, pero el dinero que ganaremos en nuestro evento será dinero de emergencia. Típicamente, nos llegan llamadas muy diversas. A veces, nos llaman sobre dónde encontrar clases de inglés. Pero …

Spanish in Health Professions: A Talk by Prof. Glenn Martínez

by Ann Abbott

I'm looking forward to Glenn's talk! (See one student's reflection on the talk below.)

Thursday April 16 - Glenn A. Martínez (Ohio State). "From valuable to vulnerable: Heritage language health professionals and the ecology of language in health care along the U.S.-Mexico border" - Co-Sponsored by the Center for Advanced Studies and CLACS (US Title VI Grant).  4-5 PM Lucy Ellis Lounge (FLB 1080)
Language barriers in health care have attracted the attention of researchers, practitioners and policy makers over the past 15 years. In response to the growing and incontestable negative consequences of language discordance in health care encounters, policy makers have proposed two immediate solutions: the use of professional medical interpreters and the use of bilingual health professionals. Very little thought was given to the language ecologies that could emerge in the simultaneous deployment of both professional interpreters and bilingual health profession…

Why Do I Blog?: Guest post for Network of Business Language Educators


Live and Work in Colombia

by Ann Abbott

Read the message below from my student Annissa.

See this post about Kelly Klus, my former student who is living and working in Baranquilla, Colombia this year.

Read this post with teaching ideas I put together for anyone who is teaching a second language but wasn't trained in that.

To learn more about the program please visit: 
To highlight a few points however:
Teachers will work 40 hours weekly - 15 hours in preparation and 25 hours teaching.During the program, the monthly salary earned will be $1,500,000 Colombian Pesos.The first 15 days of the program will be spent in Bogota during which time housing is covered.After this period, teachers will travel to their assigned cities and 1 month of housing will be covered there for them. The transportation to this city is also covered.This program will also cover the cost of the visa required to participate.Once the project is completed, teachers will be awarded $500,000 Colombian Pesos as a bonus.I…

Spanish AND Portuguese in Community Service Learning

by Ann Abbott

So many of my students would love to be bilingual. That's their goal, and that's what they spend years working toward.

But why stop there?

I speak Spanish and Italian. I have studied Catalan, and I can understand a lot of Bergamasco (the dialect spoken in the area of Northern Italy where my husband is from).

You can speak more than two languages.

I work in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. It makes a lot of sense to learn both of these languages.

And one of my students this semester is doing just that. Ken Kleisner is taking Portuguese classes here, and he plans to study abroad in Brazil this summer. Here's what he said about using Portuguese in our Spanish CSL course:
One of the most important things I have learned about the success of social entrepreneurship is that you absolutely must know your client and audience.  This has been directly applied through my time at the Refugee Center, where I have learned a lot about the struggles that some of the i…

Kat Kolomban's Thesis: Parent and Teacher Perspectives on Congolese Students in the American Education System

by Ann Abbott

Every semester I have one or more students who write such elegant reflective essays that I just sit back, read and enjoy their ideas and the prose with which they express them.

This semester I had that same experience with a Master's thesis from Kathleeen Kolumban for the Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language. The thesis was titled "Parent and Teacher Perspectives on Congolese Students in the American Education System. I read her 112-page thesis while I was traveling early this semester, and it was like reading a novel! I kept scrolling down the screen to see what was next, what cultural practice she would describe next, what implication for practice she suggested next, what was the next piece in the puzzle of Congolese students, their parents and their ESL teachers in Champaign-Urbana. And her writing was so clear that I was able to just focus on the ideas. Brava, Kat!

I won't describe Kat's work here except to say that she interviewed C…

YouTube Video Edits as Reflection/Assessment for Spanish Community Service Learning

by Ann Abbott

I try to make my reflections and tests be learning opportunities. That is, I don't just want to know what students know, I want them to learn something new through the process of taking my test or writing a reflective essay.

What's even better than that? When the product of their reflection/exam can actually be used for an authentic purpose in the community. To meet an authentic, community-identified need.

I was emailing with Ricardo Diaz this week about the interview that Allison Gattari and I did on public access radio and television. (I was letting Ricardo know how much I enjoyed the conversation and felt that we had just scratched the surface.) When he gave me the link to the CU Immigration TV YouTube channel and I looked at the page again, it dawned on me:

My students could provide editing for the videos that would increase their value for the channel. Ricardo agreed, and so my "Spanish in the Community" and "Spanish & Social Entrepreneurs…

Toolkits for Service Learning and for Community Engaged Scholarship

by Ann Abbott

Last semester I visited University of South Florida and enjoyed getting to know the wonderful group of people who works at their Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships

I follow their Facebook Page, and I was very excited to see a recent post referencing their Toolkit for Community Engaged Scholarship. They also offer an excellent Service Learning Toolkit, Bibliography, and many other pieces of information that can spark your creativity or answer your questions.

Click, read, and use this great information to update your course or create one from scratch.

Spanish Community Service Learning: How to Pull Your Students Back in after a Long Break

by Ann Abbott

Spring break seemed to arrive late this year. So yesterday was the first class I had with my students after the break. It felt like we hadn't seen each other in a long time, so I wanted to get down to basics with them again--rev up their Spanish after some time away, remind them how to actually be helpful in their work in the community and bring them back to Champaign-Urbana and our local Latino community.

For my Spanish in the Community class, we did the following:

Transition back to SpanishI put them in pairs and told them to talk about their spring break for five minutes without stopping.

Follow-upI wrote on the board "Igual a ___, ____" and "A diferencia de ___, ___". 

I asked one person to report on something interesting about their partner's spring break. The next person I called on had to start their sentence about their partner's spring break with one of the two phrases above. Example: "A diferencia de Clarissa [the previous person…