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Showing posts from December, 2016

Student Reflection

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by Araceli Pérez

Ya he estado participando en el programa de Abriendo Caminos por varias semanas y puedo decir con confianza que me ha encantado la experiencia hasta ahora. He tenido la oportunidad de trabajar con los niños, que he disfrutado mucho porque planeo ser maestra en el futuro. También  he podido participar en las clases que toman el grupo de control. Me ha gustado mucho participar en estas clases porque me ofrecen la oportunidad de conversar con las madres de familia.
Algo que me pareció muy interesante fue la conversación que tuvimos cuando hablamos del tema de las finanzas. Muchas de las madres hispanas confesaron no saber mucho de cómo manejar el dinero. Esto no me sorprendió mucho porque yo vengo de una familia hispana y sé que ellos también tienen mucha dificultad manejando el dinero y  sus finanzas, Todo esto me llevó a la conclusión que deberían de haber muchos más recursos e información sobre el dinero para las familias hispanas que no hablan inglés. Creo que esta inf…

Advice for College Spanish Majors

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by Ann Abbott

Even though the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is a huge university, it is possible for students to connect with faculty. I say this proudly: especially in the language programs.

I had many wonderful students this semester, and many of them happened to be freshmen. I took one of those freshmen out for lunch at the end of the semester to let her know that I saw great intellect, talent and creativity in her work in my class. I wanted to encourage her, as a freshman, to consider opportunities on our campus that match her abilities--as well as complement them--and that she might not have found on her own. Or that she might have found much later.

Let me share that list because I would encourage all students of Spanish to look into them.

More languages This student already has Spanish and French under her belt. Someone who is so obviously good with languages should take advantage of all the wonderful languages we offer on our campus. (That's a rare opportunity, an…

How Much Time Does It Take to Teach Spanish Community Service Learning?

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by Ann Abbott

Recently, an interesting question came up about how much work it is (or isn't) for graduate teaching assistants to teach a Spanish community service learning course.

Here's some background on the concept of "time" in my Spanish in the Community course.
Students must work 28 hours in the community during the course of the semester.28 hours means that students work in the community 2 hours a week for 14 weeks out of a 15 1/2 week semesterIt is a three-credit courseThe class meets two hours a week Two hours of experiential learning equals one hour of classroom learning, according to some sourcesThe main grading tasks are three reflective essays and students' community participation self-evaluationsSo, all in all, for three hours of academic credit, students spend two hours a week in class and two hours a week in the community What about the person teaching the course? At first glance it seems as if you work less than others because you only teach two ho…

Student Reflection

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by Araceli Pérez


Tener la oportunidad de trabajar en la comunidad es una responsabilidad muy grande pero gratificante. Así que cuando la Dra. Michelle Cruz Santiago informó a mi clase sobre la oportunidad de trabajar en un programa de investigación en donde serviríamos a la comunidad hispana, inmediatamente me llamó la atención. La Dra. Santiago nos explicó que este programa de investigación, llamado Abriendo Caminos, buscaba descubrir si clases de nutrición ayudarían a la comunidad hispana a ser más saludable.
Para investigar este tema a fondo la Dra. Michelle Cruz invitó a muchas familias a venir al Centro Cultural en Rantoul. En el centro las familias se registraron para el programa y acordaron a venir cada jueves para recibir las clases de nutrición. Antes de tomar las clases, la presión, el peso, y medidas del cuerpo fueron tomados de cada miembro de familia. Esto ayudaría a la Dra. Michelle saber cómo estaba el estado de salud de cada familia antes de comenzar el programa.  Las fa…

Task List for Directors of Spanish Community Service Learning Courses

by Ann Abbott
In some ways the Fall 2016 semester was on of my most difficult. 
But in one specific way it was the best: I scheduled specific times for taking care of all my weekly teaching tasks and did them. That's right, every week I graded, entered grades in Blackboard, and responded to student problems promptly. Preparing the final grades was no problem whatsoever because everything was ready to go. Hurray!
What a relief! In the past, my calendar showed my teaching times (of course) and my office hours. But I used my office hours to address whatever was on my desk, answer emails, decompress, any number of things that push and pull all of us during a normal workday. I would also make my office hours available in Doodle polls for committee meetings. But this semester, I guarded my office hours carefully and used them to catch up on my grading and prep immediately following class.
So in that spirit of organization and prioritization, I'd like to share my detailed list of tas…