Saturday, October 4, 2008

Conexiones culturales

"Your class is too hard. Some students went to the other section," greeted me today as I took roll for a college-level beginning Spanish class. While I'm not covering as many chapters as another professor, the students have noticed that we are going in-depth. I share what I know with my classes, what I have learned, what I have studied, and waht I have been taught by my professors and by years of experience as a student of Hispanic culture and Spanish language.

The best part about slowing down and going in-depth in every chapter of the text is that we can take time to enjoy the cultural connections with parts of the Latin American and Peninsular world. Music, traditions, dance, fiestas, santos, foods---none of these areas escape our notice when we take time to explore the cultural explanations for "why do you say it like that?"

I am readily accessible by appointment, e-mail, and phone. When students are lost, we work together to get "found" again on the roadmap towards cultural and linguistic fluency. But I always take it as a compliment when someone says the class is "hard." If it were easy for you, then you would have tested into another level! :) If you're not making mistakes, you're not learning much--so hang on for the ride and raise your hand when you're (not) having fun and have a question. Speak up--because when you're lost, guaranteed, someone next to you is, too.

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