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Showing posts from October, 2015

Business Spanish: Week 10

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by Ann Abbott

This week we have moved on to Chapter 9 in Éxito comercial: Marketing I. This is especially pertinent to our class because of the marketing projects that students are working on for La Línea and Spanish Advising. Here's what we'll do.

Lunes: Lectura comercial This is a long, detailed reading. My goal with students is to pull out just a few main concepts and then illustrate them with examples.
1. Warm up. I began by asking students: Tell me one concept or one piece of information that stood out to you in this reading. We listened to a few of their answers. (I'm always impressed by what they take away from the course; these readings are not easy!)
2. Conversar sin parar. I like to start most of my classes by putting students into pairs, giving them a topic (or no topic!), setting the timer on my iPhone and telling them to hablar cinco minutos sin parar. It is a good way for them to get to know each other, use their Spanish and prepare for the speaking they will d…

Fourth-semester Spanish: Week 9

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by Ann Abbott
This is the week when everything the students have been working on culminates. This is a little later than other courses, but I don't think that's a problem. For me, it gives them more time to really use the language before being tested.
Martes: Proyecto 1, una composición Last week students worked on the short writing assignments of the section titled "La expresión escrita" en Chapters 1-3. Now they will spend the class period working on the longer piece of writing from whichever chapter they choose. Chapter 1, p. 44. The short writing assignment (p. 43) was to write a negative review. If students choose to work on this topic, they will change perspectives and write a professional response to the bad review they previously wrote. Chapter 2, p. 90. The short writing assignment was a list. We talked about the trapped Chilean miners, and they had to write a list of five things they would have wanted to be dropped down to them if they would have been one of…

Business Spanish: Week 9

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by Ann Abbott

This week we will work again on Chapter 6 of Éxito comercial: La oficina. Last week we covered the Lectura comercial and the Lectural cultural. This week we will do the readings about the countries and the minicaso práctico.

Lunes: ¿Qué sabes de...? This reading is about Costa Rica and Panama. I'll divide the students into the following groups: Costa Rica: Export. You must advise a US business person who is interested in creating an export business to Costa Rica. Advise him/her on what products/services he/she could successfully export and why. What risks/benefits should she/he anticipate? What specific steps should he/she take before making a final decision?Costa Rica: Import. You must advise a US business person who is interested in creating a business with import(s) from Costa Rica. Advise him/her on what products/services he/she could successfully import and why. What risks/benefits should she/he anticipate? What specific steps should he/she take before making a f…

Questions about Incorporating Professional Content in Basic Language Courses

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by Ann Abbott

Webinars are a funny thing. You talk to your screen, and you have no idea if anyone is listening! But I did get positive feedback about a webinar I gave yesterday as part of a series that Pearson offered called Speaking About Webinar Week.

My talk was "Student Career Concerns and Aspirations: Integrating Languages for Specific Purposes into Basic Language Programs." The slides for the talks should be available at that page in the next week or so, but I'll include my slides from SlideShare toward the end of this post.

As I was talking, I couldn't see the questions that people were typing. So I wasn't sure if anything I was saying resonated with people. Turns out, it did! I received the list of questions that were posed, which is a good thing because I didn't have a chance to answer them all during the time allotted for the webinar.

I'll answer them here.

First, there were several questions about the activities that I shared. So let me start w…

Business Spanish: Week 8

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by Ann Abbott

This week we're back to working from the textbook, Éxito comercial. We´re on Chapter 6 La oficina.


Lunes: lectura comercial 1. We began with three minutes of "conversar sin parar" in Spanish like I often do. I paired students from different social media consulting teams and asked them to share about their experiences. As a follow-up, I asked the students what they are learning. Silence. I finally received three answers, that showed me that they are learning about things that go beyond "just" marketing. That is good!

2. Then I put students in groups of three. I gave them the following scenario:
The three of you are moving to Barcelona, Spain to begin your own business in bilingual social media marketing (just like you are doing in this class). You have a budget of 4,000 Euros to set up your office space with all the necessary equipment. Use Amazon and Apple in Spain to price your products. You also need to choose the best office space, but rent is …

Business Spanish: Week 7

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by Ann Abbott

I'm juggling a lot of things and several important, looming deadlines. So I'm just going to jump right into it.

Week 7 was great! We began work on the Networking Project for the course. (I'll describe the entire project in more detail later.) Here's what we did.

Lunes I told students that we were going to be working on this project, and that I would give more details later. In general, though,  Final goal They will "cold call" (or cold contact via the Internet) three professionals and invite them to Skype into our class during the last week of the semester. They can talk to us about their work, their path from college student to professional and their use (or not) of Spanish. In order to accomplish that: Today's goal
Research. I gave my current students a list of my former students whose careers might interest them. I assigned each student someone on the list (some students had to double up). they spent about 15 minutes in class researching t…

Student Spotlight: Boris Pilev

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by Ann Abbott

It was such a delight to get to know Boris Pilev when he was at Illinois and in my classes. He was such a warm, funny, friendly and smart guy who had a unique perspective on the world because he was originally from Bulgaria.

So when I opened my email and saw this item from my LinkedIn feed, I was just delighted. Please read to see how Boris did a unique combination of majors/minors and after graduation followed a path that led him to a position at Google that a lot of Spanish students would love to have. And, of course, see how he (and Google!) contributes to the Latino community.

Student Spotlight: Arielle Anderson-Venerable

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by Ann Abbott

I say this all the time: I love hearing from former students. So I was very happy to see Arielle's message in my inbox.

First, take a moment to see how professionally she wrote and formatted it.

Second, notice how she managed to combine her Spanish and engineering during her internship.

Finally, read through it again to see how well she makes connections and networks.

Hola Profesora Abbott,

This is Arielle Anderson, a past student of yours from your Spanish for Business Class in the Fall of 2013.  This December will mark the beginning of my last year towards a degree in Industrial Engineering.  This summer, I worked as an industrial engineering intern for a medical supplies manufacturing company and used Spanish on a daily basis communicating with warehouse workers and writing bilingual best practice documents.  Your class, which I have listed on my resume, was very helpful in this regard.  This aspect of my internship was the most interesting and fulfilling part.  If …

Spanish Community Service Learning Opportunities for 4th Semester Students

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by Ann Abbott International Prep Academy Thursday, October 15 The International Prep Academy is doing an event on the evening of October 15th to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. We are looking for some help in crowd control at the school and possibly setting up and making sure everything is running. I was wondering if it would be possible to advertise the event to your classes for students who want more volunteer hours. There will be food and entertainment, and I know the event last year was really successful.

My name is Nelly Alcala and I am a parent and vice president of our PTA at International Prep Academy in Champaign. My son is in Kat Kolumban's class and she mentioned that you have a class in which your students need to do volunteer hours. Our school is dual language and I think your students would make a good fit. We have a second annual event at our school in 2 weeks on Thursday October 15th and would need volunteers anywhere from 4:30-7:30pm. Please contact me via emai…