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Showing posts from October, 2016

Amid Falling Enrollments It Is Imperative to Advertise Your Spanish Courses

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by Ann Abbott

I'm our department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. I work hard with our advisor, Tasha Robles, to try to increase the number of students in our courses and our major/minor.

It's not easy. And yesterday I was sad to see that our numbers are low compared to the Spanish programs in most other universities in the Big Ten. (By the way, Indiana University is doing something right!)

And it's even harder when students don't have enough information to get excited about our courses.

As of right now, with just a couple of days before students begin registering for spring 2017 courses, this is our situation:

Several sections of "generic" courses don't have a title or description in the online course catalog.The advisor has received no flyers about any courses.I haven't seen any promotional materials for any courses except for Basque. I'll share the checklist below with our faculty.

How do you advertise your courses to increase enrollment…

Service Learning Workshop for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Service learning in liberal arts and sciences from Annie Abbott
by Ann Abbott

Next week I´ll give a workshop on Service Learning. My goal will be to help people from many disciplines envision how service learning can work for their courses and within our local community.

Workshop DescriptionResearch shows that service learning helps students better understand "messy problems"--the kinds of complex, interconnected issues that challenge our communities and that lie at the heart of our disciplines. In this workshop we will start with the basics of service learning to understand what it is, why the AACU lists it as a "high-impact educational practice," and what it looks like in a variety of disciplines. Then we will turn to our local community. As we identify strengths and challenges within our cities and nearby areas, we will sketch out specific ways we can connect our courses and disciplines to community-identified needs. Service learning students are often eager, yet …

Student Reflection

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by Alicia Barbas

Durante los días más recientes de mi trabajo en la clase de Kindergarten en el International Prep Academy, he empezado a notar varios elementos que me ayudan a conectar con cada estudiante. Por la mayoría del tiempo, les ayudo a los estudiantes a aprender, a reconocer, y a escribir las diferentes palabras y letras del alfabeto en un libro. La dificultad de este trabajo es que el libro consiste en el alfabeto en inglés y también en español, y la forma en que lo enseño depende del idioma materno del estudiante y de cuánto conoce en este idioma.
Para los estudiantes que hablan inglés, simplemente les tengo que ayudar a reconocer como se llama la letra específica y cómo escribirla. Muchos estudiantes practican las letras de su nombre, y entonces no tienen tantos problemas pronunciando, reconociendo, o escribiendo letras como “a” o “b” en mayúscula y minúscula. Cuando terminan con la letra, identifican una palabra que empieza con esta letra que está en la misma página del li…

Insights from the 2016 Conference from the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education

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by Ann Abbott


This is just one example of the wonderful information that can be found at Rice University's CLIC website, Bridging Research and Practice.

Last weekend I was very happy to attend the Annual conference of  the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education (CUALHE) at Notre Dame.

I wanted to attend the conference because in my role as Director of Undergraduate Studies in our department, I will need to lead the assessment efforts when our university goes through its accreditation process in a few years. (My awareness and interest in this level of assessment comes from presentations and conversations with Dr. Staci Provezis in the Provost's Office.) Indeed, I picked up many good ideas about assessment, and I hope that our department can follow through on some of them.

For me and my interests for our department, the highlights were these sessions:
"Teaching and Testing Interaction Competence" by Maryam Emami, Kevin García, Katharina Kley…

How to Prepare to Be a Facilitator in Business Spanish Class

by Ann Abbott

As I've written here before, I like to have my Business Spanish students practice being facilitators. I think it's a very important skill to have in business, and I think they already have enough practice giving presentations.

But the fact that it is not a common academic assignment can create confusion. So here is one student's explanation to other students about how to prepare.

The Tensions in Spanish Programs Cannot Hold

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by Ann Abbott

One of the hats I wear in my job is Director of Undergraduate Studies. I work closely with our advisor, I speak directly with potential students and their parents, and I am on our department's curriculum committee.

On the one hand, I am passionate about Spanish and how it can help students understand our world differently, better. Studying Spanish, studying abroad in Barcelona for one year, and doing the PhD in Spanish literature gave me many wonderful experiences and tools. That was back in the 80s and 90s. On the other hand, I see some very important tensions that make me wonder about the long-term growth of Spanish as a serious, engaged, intellectual program on US college campuses.


1. Spain-centric programsSpain has central role in both the typical curriculum and in students' imagination of "Spanish," yet Spain is a small piece of the Spanish-speaking world and of Spanish-language cultural production.


2. Spanish as a toolMany students want to study the …

The Tensions in Spanish Programs Cannot Hold

Image
by Ann Abbott

One of the hats I wear in my job is Director of Undergraduate Studies. I work closely with our advisor, I speak directly with potential students and their parents, and I am on our department's curriculum committee.

On the one hand, I am passionate about Spanish and how it can help students understand our world differently, better. Studying Spanish, studying abroad in Barcelona for one year, and doing the PhD in Spanish literature gave me many wonderful experiences and tools. That was back in the 80s and 90s. On the other hand, I see some very important tensions that make me wonder about the long-term growth of Spanish as a serious, engaged, intellectual program on US college campuses.

1. Spain-centric programs Spain has central role in both the typical curriculum and in students' imagination of "Spanish," yet Spain is a small piece of the Spanish-speaking world and of Spanish-language cultural production.
2. Spanish as a tool Many students want to study the…

Student Reflection

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by Alicia Barbas
Durante mis primeras semanas aquí en la universidad, busqué un lugar para trabajar como voluntaria en el que podría expresar mi pasión por el español, prepararme para ser profesora en el futuro, aprender a apoyar a la gente en la comunidad, y ser inspirada por estas experiencias. Decidí que quería trabajar en el International Prep Academy en una clase bilingüe de kindergarten. Este lugar tiene un ambiente diferente del que estoy acostumbrada, y me está ayudando poco a poco a abrir los ojos a las vidas y la educación de los niños bilingües en esta comunidad.
En el International Prep Academy, las clases de niveles primarios están formadas en un sistema de educación bilingüe de dos vías. Esto significa que el tiempo está dividido igualmente entre los dos idiomas para que los niños reciban instrucciones, lecciones, y práctica en inglés y en español. Durante cada semana, también aprenden sobre la música o la comida de un país hispanohablante para involucrar el aprendizaje de…

Spanish Community Service Learning Course: Here Is Everything You Need

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by Ann Abbott

Starting a Spanish community service learning course is challenging but very doable.

This semester I have talked to two faculty members who are either starting or planning to start a Spanish CSL course, and I have shared everything I have with them.

So I thought I'd share it with all of you, too. You might think of this post as "Spanish CSL in a box."
Course description for "Spanish in the Community." (Scroll down to SPAN 232.)TextbookComunidades: Más allá del aula. (I am not trying to hawk my book--I barely make any money on it anyway. Ask your Pearson sales rep for a review copy.)SyllabusCourse calendar. This calendar for Fall 2016 includes a visit to our Krannert Art Museum to visit a pertinent exhibit, so you would simply change the dates around a bit. In previous semesters, I will use that week to schedule a documentary, film or piece of fiction that is appropriate to the course, such as Quién es Dayani Cristal?Comunidades Companion Websit…