Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fourth semester Spanish Lesson Plans: Week 6

by Ann Abbott

Capítulo 3 Comunidades nuevas y renovadas

Martes ¿Qué imagen proyectamos en nuestras redes?

1. ¿Cómo creamos una comunidad en las redes sociales? (Explorando el tema, p. 96)
  • In pairs, they answer the question at the top of the page. (I was surprised by how many share pictures of their pets!)
  • I changed the pairs, and they interviewed their new partner for Actividad 3-2, Paso 1. A lot of them were sharing their profiles with each other so they could see what they were talking about.
  • We transitioned from talking about ourselves to famous people. I changed the pairs again. They chose a person from the list and looked them up on various social media sites (Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). After they had several minutes to explore, each pair said who they looked up and what kind of image they project.
2. We create communities through social media, and we have spent the past six weeks creating a community in our classroom. Students even knew the names of the students who were missing. We wanted to strengthen our sense of community more during the rest of the class. (En contexto, pp. 98-99)
  • For Actividad 3-3, I modeled the activity and emphasized the need to change the verb when asking the question. Then they all stood up and circulated, asking these questions. It was tough to find anyone who answered yes to #4!
  • I put them into groups of three, and each group had to either 3-4, 3-5 or 3-6. (Just as an aside, it seems that most people chose Jessica for Actividad 3-5. Interesting...)
3. Conclusion: When we feel that we know each other, we have a stronger sense of community. That's what we've done today by working together and sharing information about ourselves.

Jueves ¿Es la interdependencia positiva?

1. ¿Dar y  recibir ayuda es bueno? ¿Es necesario? (Gramática II pp. 104-108)
  • In pairs, students compare their answers to Actividad 3-13, Paso 1. As a model, I will tell them that my answer for ·1 would be ¨No se los cuido¨. Tengo alergias.
  • Individually, they will modify one of the sentences in Actividad 3-14. As a model, I will modify ·5, ¨Mi madre compró un coche nuevo y el viejo me lo regaló a mí.¨
  • In groups of three, they will discuss the items in Actividad 3-16. Then individually, they will mark their conclusion. I will ask one student to tally the answers.
2. ¿Dónde te encuentras con los de tu comunidad? (Competencia Cultural, pp. 114-115)
  • I´ll briefly mention the importance of ¨la calle¨ and ¨las plazas.¨
3. ¿Cómo podemos fomentar la colaboración? (Video Cultural, pp. 116)
  • We´ll watch the video, then answer the questions in Actividad 3-24.
4. Conclusión: ¿Preferimos la colaboración o la solitud?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Business Spanish Lesson Plans: Week 6

Photo of a computer and tablet with the words Business Spanish Lesson Plans from Annie Abbott
by Ann Abbott

Lunes: Una vista panorámica de México

Éxito comercial, Capítulo 3, pp. 73-83

Usually I like to have the students dig in to the information during class, analyzing, discussing and then presenting their work. However, today I want my students to be inspired about working in Mexico, not put off by the negative information. 

We´re going to look at one of my former students, David Pérez Hernández, who just spent one year in Mexico. I know for sure they will be inspired by him!

Here are his words for my students:
1) How convenient it is to be in Mexico. You are in a totally different country than the US, but because of the proximity you cant help to feel so close to home. Youre in the same time zone, youre a quick plane ride away from home, alot of the comfort foods make it to Mexico, and youre always 1.5 hours away from some of the best beaches in the world!

2) The second is how important Mexico and its people are to the US. The US trades more with Mexico than it does with China, and the single largest immigrant demographic in the US comes from Mexico. Spending some time here will enrich your experience in the US, and it will allow you to connect so well with Mexicans in the US.

I´ll divide the students into teams or pairs. Each team will read about and research one aspect of David´s professional and personal profile. Then they will each present to the whole class.

Miércoles: Minicaso práctico

Éxito comercial, Capítulo 3, pp. 87-88.

All students have to answer the questions a, b, c, d and e before coming to class. Then during class, four students will have the role of "Facilitador," and the other students will be divided into groups to go with each facilitador. They will be graded using the rubric in the course syllabus.

Viernes: Taller de asesoría

Student teams will work on their social media marketing posts for their clients, and I will be available for feedback, editing and posting.

More lesson plans

Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

Monday, September 14, 2015

Surround Yourself with Spanish

by Ann Abbott

One of my students told me that she felt her Spanish was a little rusty and wondered what she could to get back into the swing of things.

I'm so glad she asked! Simply wanting to improve your Spanish is one of the most important parts of actually improving your Spanish.

Here are a few resources I suggest.

At the University of Illinois

  • Tutoring Room. If you have specific problems, you can go to the Spanish Tutoring Room on the 4th floor of FLB.
  • Mi Pueblo. This is one of the best resources because you can meet up with other people who are practicing their Spanish--and actually speak Spanish in conversations with real people. Nothing beats that.


  • MySpanishLab. In this particular course, my student has access to everything that is MySpanishLab. That includes grammar tutorials, verb charts, videos and sound files for everything that is in the book and workbook. There's no way we can cover everything in the book or in MySpanishLab, so taking advantage of all that extra content is just smart. Of course if you are using a different textbook, your online resources will be different, too.
  • You can join the site, and you can also simply go to the SpanishPod101 YouTube channel and listen to the videos. Go to "Playlists" and listen to a few in each level to see where you feel most comfortable, though a little challenged, too.
  • The Spanish Blog. This is another good online source. (There are too many to list here!) You can sign up, or you can use their many free videos.
  • Get hooked on a show. One of my friends said that Gran Hotel is a great show to watch on NetFlix.
  • Listen to music. So many of my students walk into class with their earbuds in, carrying their device in their hands. They're listening to something! It might be podcasts, but it's probably music. Why not just switch it up and make the music Spanish? Here's a comment that my colleague Florencia Henshaw left on my Facebook Page a while ago: Florencia Henshaw Listen to music in that language! But not just once or twice. Learn the lyrics and listen to those songs often. Sing along in your car or in the shower. Here's our SPAN 204 Spotify playlist to help you discovernew artists and songs in Spanish
There are many, many more resources. I've tried to include things that are specifically helpful to intermediate students, like my student who asked for suggestions.

Please add to the list!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Student Spotlight: Brittany Koteles

by Ann Abbott

Brittany Koteles continues to amaze me. I've written about her several times before (you can search her name in the search bar on the right). Brittany is a social entrepreneur who works at Ashoka to support other social entrepreneurs. I'm so proud of her and her work, and I received the message below from her today. 

If you are a current student, look back through this blog for my posts about Brittany and see how you might model your trajectory on hers. Wherever you are in life and in your career, consider adding Brittany to your network: she's an amazing woman who is always in the know and on the go.

Finally, I just have to say how much I love her writing style. She injects this message with passion and personality. I can't help but get caught up in it all!

Hello friends & fam,
 I’m writing you because something really exciting is happening tonight! Ashoka's Start Empathy network & an Ashoka Changemaker School from Tuscon, AZ will be featured tonight on all four major TV networks at 8pm ETIt’s part of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s next big campaign. EIF are the folks behind Stand Up To Cancer, so…in other words, this is going to be big. We've been pulling all the stops for a month to jump on this opportunity, and surreal to see empathy up front and center in this GIANT campaign about our country's education system. I mean, seriously guys…Gwenyth Paltrow is going to introduce an Ashoka Changemaker School and talk about our work. Tonight. Like, in 3 hours. WHAT?! (But Brittany, I thought you worked with social entrepreneurs?)…yes. I do. But also schools! A few years ago, Ashoka expanded beyond its work with Fellows (super-successful social entrepreneurs), realizing that 3,000 Fellow "superstars" aren't enough to change the world. We need to help everyone discover their capacity as a changemaker - and we need to start when kids are young. We took a bet on applying Ashoka's visionary vetting process to identify model schools across the country who are changing the way kids learn - and effectively, how they grow up. Four years later, we're really beginning to see the fruits of our labor on the big bet we took on expanding our mission. Why I’m most stoked, and why I’m emailing you: Guys, let’s be real. My job is kind of confusing to explain, and this is a rare opportunity to give folks a digestible glimpse into what my work is (kind of) about…so, I’m stoked to share it with you, because you are important people! Each of you holds an important piece of my own changemaking path. I love what I do and who I’m becoming, and I’m grateful to each of you for the role you’ve played in that discovery. So…thank you, truly and deeply, for that. Now, time to turn on the tube and celebrate! All my love, b

Monday, September 7, 2015

Student Spotlight: Ken Kliesner

by Ann Abbott

Ken Kliesner is one of those students whom professors love, because you can tell he's in college to learn. Really learn as much as he can.

And part of soaking in everything you can in college is going abroad. Take a look at the places Ken has studied: 
  • Jordan 
  • Ecuador 
  • Brazil 
Aside from everything that he must have learned in those three experiences, the combination of those three unique places is significant in and of itself. You can tell that he takes (calculated) risk, doesn't just follow the crowd (most study abroad students go to Europe and English-speaking countries), can manage change and actually enjoys working with people who speak other languages and have other cultural perspectives. Those are all highly valued characteristics in a variety of work environments. 

Combine all that international experience with Ken's work with recent immigrants in the US--from all over the world--and a full picture emerges of a young person with highly developed global literacy, intercultural communication skills and a strong ethical awareness.

So when Ken told me he was applying for the Fulbright Binational Internship Program in Mexico, I was delighted to write him a strong letter. In exchange, he sent me the following information so that other students can see the path he has taken and how it has led him to where he is now.

Gracias, Ken, y much suerte con la solicitud.

Basic information
Tomé la clase SPAN 332 "Spanish and Entrepreneurship" el semestre pasado.  
Community Service Learning (CSL) Information
Hice mi trabajo voluntário en el ECIRMAC y especialmente ayudé con unos refugiados angolanos porque yo era el único voluntário que hablaba portugués.  Claro que ayudé más todavía con los inmigrantes hispanohablantes y con unas protestas contra los recortes presupuestarios del Gobernador Rauner.
Other Information
Aprendí el significado y la importancia de emprendimiento social en la sociedad y las comunidades rurales, que antes nunca fue un asunto en que me había enfocado o de que había aprendido.  Estoy solicitando a la beca Fulbright para hacer este tipo de trabajo en una organización sin fines de lucro en la Ciudad de México que trabaja en la política pública.  Estoy considerando estas organizaciones entre otros: "" y "".  Estudié en una comuna indígena afuera de Quito, Ecuador y fui voluntario en la comunidad, ayudando con el desarrollo de ella.  También estudié en Amman, Jordania haciendo investigación en la crisis migratoria con refugiados de Síria.  Finalmente, estudié la lengua portuguesa y la cultura brasileña intensivamente en Río de Janeiro.