Saturday, October 1, 2016

Spanish Community Service Learning Course: Here Is Everything You Need

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."
  1. Course description for "Spanish in the Community." (Scroll down to SPAN 232.)
  2. Textbook: Comunidades: 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.)
  3. Syllabus
  4. Course 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.
  5. Comunidades Companion Website. You can find the audios and videos mentioned in the textbook here. I think the videos are especially valuable. The site isn't very intuitive, so do the following: Go to "Select chapter" --> Select any chapter --> Click the "Go" button --> Navigate using the categories on the left (Audio, Video, etc.). 
  6. Instructor's resource manual. I think you'll find the instructions for setting up a community partnership and a course very helpful, and it's at the very beginning of the document. I also use this document to read the scripts for the listening comprehension activities that I do in class.
  7. Topics for ensayos de reflexión. This is an updated list of the topics and instructions that I give to students for their reflective writing.
  8. Readings that I use with students: 1) "Sociolinguistic Dimensions of Immigration to the United States" by Kim Potowski; 2) "Introduction: Heartland North, Heartland South" by Allegro and Grant Wood; 3) "Civic Engagement and Community Service Learning" by Ann Abbott (this is an abridged version of a chapter that is forthcoming).  
  9. Course wiki, where students sign up for the place where they will work and log their work hours weekly (here's an example). If I had to do it all over again, I would use Google docs. But back many years ago when I set this up, Google docs had a limit of 200 people, and that caused problems for me.
I hope this helps you! Of course, I'm always available to talk by email (, and my office phone number is 217-333-6714.

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