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Showing posts from June, 2015

Student Spotlight: Carrie Casady

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by Ann Abbott

As I have written here many times, it is always a pleasure to hear from former students because:

I simply enjoy hearing about their lives, their careers, their paths.I think that they make wonderful role models for our current Spanish students. So I was very happy to hear from Carrie Casady. Take a look at her trajectory as a student and as a graduate. Is there anything that you would like to emulate? Don't forget that networking is a very important part of what you should be doing while you are a student--could you add Carrie to your network?

Community Service Learning (CSL) InformationSpring of 2010 (SPAN 232) I did my community service at Leal School working in the kindergarten classroom. Highlights from this work for me were helping the kids to read and seeing them progress in Spanish and English.Spring 2012 (SPAN 332) I did my community service at ECIRMAC, which helped me to use my speaking skills in an office setting, as well as understan…

Career Services and Community Service Learning: A Clear Connection

by Ann Abbott

Sometimes, the right question is posed to you and answering allows you to reflect on all the disparate things you've been working on and see within them a common thread. 


This was the information I was asked to respond to today:Following is a description of the Career Services Council (CSC):
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The Career Services Council serves as a forum for career service, career counseling, and pre-professional practitioners to review current developments in the practice of career planning and trends in the economy and environment which relate to students’ post-graduate outcomes.

The Council members collaborate in offering common services and programs that serve the general university community and advocate for the essence and value of career services to the University of Illinois. The Council reviews policies and procedures which clarify and document the work of the various career offices on campus in their efforts to effectively and efficiently serve students, e…

Reflection Prompts to Guide Your Community Service Learning Course Design

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by Ann Abbott

During the 2014-15 academic year I traveled to many universities and met many creative people doing very meaningful work with their language students.

I also took a very careful look at many course syllabi. They all were interesting and reflected the instructors' deep subject knowledge and intellectual curiosity to take a journey with their students. That is the kind of course we would all like to create!

There were also red flags for potential issues in community service learning (CSL) courses. I don't have all the answers, of course, and my course design can look very different from someone else's and yet both be very successful. Still, in the spirit of critical reflection that is the backbone of a good CSL learning experience, I offer a few key questions that you can ask yourself about your CSL course design.

What is the organizational capacity of your community partner(s)? You need a true partner, so ask yourself these questions. Does this organization tr…

Continue Your Community Service Learning with an Internship

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by Ann Abbott

Did you enjoy working with the community partner in your Spanish community service learning? Do you think you could contribute even more, now that you know more? Are you looking for an internship?

Now you can continue doing the work that you did in your Spanish community service learning, legitimately call it an internship and receive academic credit, all at the same time.

Here's a note from Dr. Kirstin Wilcox (kwilcox@illinois.edu):
ENGL 199-INT (CRN 63954; I'm starting the paperwork for a permanent distinct course number).  It's limited to students who have located an internship for Fall 2015 and requires the instructor's permission (mine!), but I'd be happy to grant permission to students in any humanities department who want to take it--particularly those in unpaid internships.  I can envision students who've taken your service learning course and want to keep working with their community organization coming up with their own project-based inte…

Law and Spanish Community Service Learning

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by Ann Abbott

[Scroll down to see an update.]

I have been thinking a lot lately about Spanish for the Professions, Languages for Specific Purposes and where they fit in our Spanish curriculum. There's a lot to consider:
Student interest.Faculty acceptance/resistance.Our instructional capacity.A model that is uniquely "Illinois." Several Spanish students who are also preparing for jobs in the health professions have begun organizing and making their voices heard. They want a medical Spanish course!
But I also know that we have many students who are thinking that law school could be in their future. I don't want us to build a medical Spanish course just because those students are the loudest. (Although, of course, I like that they are making their wishes heard!) We need to think "big picture" and design a curriculum for students who will be going on to any number of professions and probably changing professions over the course of their lives, too.
So it was in…

Student Reflection

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by Nicole Tauster

Last semester (Fall 2014) I took SPAN 232 with Ann and this semester (Spring 2015) I was able to take SPAN 332. I immensely enjoyed both classes and would thoroughly recommend them to anyone! Not only did I learn a lot inside the classroom, both from Ann and my classmates, but with the unique opportunity to volunteer outside of class I really broadened my horizons.
Both of these courses are designed to teach us about the Latino immigration in the U.S. and even more specifically in our local community of Champaign-Urbana. In class I learned about the countless dangers immigrants face just trying to reach the U.S. and the myriad of problems that await them when they do arrive. I learned that the U.S. has made it nearly impossible for anyone to enter the country legally or become a legal citizen and that is why so many immigrants are here illegally. Out in the community I learned that many immigrants are honest, hardworking people who want nothing more than to be here le…

Unaccompanied Migrant Minors and Chamapaign Urbana

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by Ann Abbott

Around this time last year, the headlines were screaming almost every day about the "crisis" at our border, especially about the children from Central America who crossed multiple borders, on their own, to read the United States.

In one year, the memory has faded for most people.

In one year, there is still much work to be done. Thankfully, we have very dedicated people in the Champaign-Urbana area who are making things happen for the unaccompanied minors who are in our town.

Above, you can read what these children have to say. What they think. What they fear. What they hope for.

Here, you can read a statement from CU Immigration Forum about these children.

Student Reflection

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by Nicole Tauster

The Power of SpeechI’m sure I have posted about this on this blog before, but I just have to reiterate the power of being able to speak to someone in their native language. Think for a minute about someone who is an immigrant in this country… They might not know English very well, even though that’s all they hear day in and day out. They might get berated for not learning English now that they live in the United States, even though our country doesn’t have an official language. So now imagine what it must feel like when a stranger actually speaks to them in Spanish (or whatever their native tongue is). It must be such a relief! Maybe it feels like they are being accepted for they are, maybe it feels like you’re extending an olive branch of sorts to them… I can’t quite be sure because I have never been on that side of such an exchange, but I can tell you what it feels like to be the person who reaches out. Let me tell you, it is a wonderful feeling to see that other per…