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Sunday, July 26, 2015

2016 MLA Special Panel: Communities of Learning in Second Language Acquisition: An Exploration of Alternative Pedagogies

by Ann Abbott

If you plan to attend the 2016 Conference of the Modern Languages Association, you might be interested in this panel that I will be a part of.  

Friday, 8 January
289. Communities of Learning in Second Language Acquisition: An Exploration of Alternative Pedagogies
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m.
Program arranged by the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages
Presiding: Elise C. Leahy, Southern Utah Univ.; June Miyasaki, Los Angeles Valley Coll., CA
Speakers: Annie Abbott, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Lucile Duperron, Dickinson Coll.; Victor Fusilero, Los Angeles Valley Coll., CA; Adi Raz, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Heidi Soneson, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Elizabeth Dolly A. Weber, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
Foreign language departments have become increasingly innovative in teaching language, writing, and culture. Panelists explore alternative pedagogies in second language acquisition that are revitalizing foreign language departments, among them virtual travel, experiential and community-service learning, creative uses of wikis and blogs, and new initiatives in study-abroad environments.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Video Projects for Community Partner: Crisis Nursery

by Ann Abbott

Because I think digital literacy is such an important professional skill, not just for the future but also for right now, I am always happy when my Spanish community service learning students create digital products for our community partners. It helps our partners, but it also develops important, valuable skills for our student. And there's a big bonus: the results of their projects are tangible; they can share links to their work when they apply for jobs or other types of opportunities to truly showcase their language proficiency, cultural knowledge and digital skills.

Here's a wonderful example of this type of project from my former student, Cassie Grimm. She made videos in English and Spanish for our community partner, Crisis Nursery.

(And here's an update on what Cassie has been doing after graduation: "El otoño pasado, fui para enseñar inglés en españa en un campamento lingüistico (y necesitaba actuar como no hablé ni entendí español jaja). Ahora, estoy trabajando para PricewaterhouseCoopers en la Ciudad de México. Estaba apoyando a empresas americanas con presencia aquí en México, pero ahorita estoy haciendo capital humano, haciendo reclutamiento para un equipo internacional. Por supuesto, si quieres enviarme unas preguntas, podría facilmente grabar un video para tu clase, porque de hecho estoy mejorando mi español mucho viviendo en México, y es una experiencia increíble (especialmente considerando que la gente no piensa muy bien de México).") 

See for yourself what your students can produce!

General information about Crisis Nursery: English


General information about Crisis Nursery: Spanish


A tour of the facilities in Spanish

Helpful Website for Volunteer Spanish Interpreters at Parent Teacher Conferences

Click on this image to go to the website
by Ann Abbott

My previous post featured a video interview with a student who had taken "Spanish in the Community" and enjoyed it immensely. She specifically mentioned her experience interpreting at the parent teacher conferences at Central High School.

I'm glad she had a good experience, and I hope even more Spanish students will participate.

But fear often holds them back.

Luckily, another former student, Jenna Kandah, created this wonderful website with helpful information about being a volunteer Spanish interpreter at parent teacher conferences. Read it and feel more confident as you go to help parents and teachers communicate with each other!

Spanish Community Service Learning as an Elective


by Ann Abbott

Imagine my surprise when I ran across this video interview in which one of the students talks about SPAN 232 "Spanish in the Community" as her favorite elective! And when the guy talked about his entrepreneurship course with Prof. Paul Magelli (whom I respect tremendously), I kept thinking, "Well, I think you would really like 'SPAN 332 Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Languages, Cultures & Communities,' too!"

Take a look at Illinois Admission's YouTube playlist, and you will see several other clips titled "Campus Conversations." They give very interesting student perspectives about student life at Illinois.

(It was also fun to see the video below and see my picture used. Just a little lift on this summer morning.)