Final compositions written for SPAN140: Fourth-semester Spanish. The link below displays a sample of students’ responses to the question, “¿Cuál fue uno de los eventos que cambió tu vida?” The essay was assigned after a discussion of the coming of age and development of the character Cayetana in the movie Las malas intenciones (Rosario García-Montero, 2011). This was the final in-class essay for the course, and students wrote only one version.
GoAnimate video project samples. As part of the SPAN140 curriculum, students read the novel Las batallas en el desierto, by Mario Pacheco. I designed a brief video project in which students recreated a scene from the novel and recorded their dialogues using the software available on GoAnimate.com. Below are two examples of the videos made by students in the class:
Current events presentations. Students worked in pairs to research a current news or cultural event in a Spanish-speaking country, and explain it to the class in a 15-minute presentation. At the end of the presentation, they created their own activities to explain and practice grammar topics in relation to the content they researched. In this example, students presented on the politics of Hugo Chávez and the petroleum industry in Venezuela. To review infinitive verbs, they then asked their peers to watch a video of a speech by Chávez, write sentences describing the video, and then re-write their partners’ sentences to incorporate infinitive verbs.
Student development over the course of two semesters of Spanish. The following link displays three essays written by the same undergraduate male who studied Spanish with me for two consecutive semesters. The themes of the compositions are: a description of Fernando Botero’s painting Cuatro mujeres (beginning of third-semester Spanish,fall 2012); “Cuáles son los usos de la tecnología en nuestra sociedad?” (beginning of fourth-semester Spanish, spring 2013); and “Cómo es el mundo de hoy diferente del de tus abuelos?” (end of fourth-semester Spanish, spring 2013).
These compositions show how the student, over the course of one academic year in my class, developed more complex sentence structure, learned to use a greater variety of verb tenses, and acquired high-level vocabulary to discuss abstract concepts. It also shows the style of correction that I use to indicate where there are errors that the student was to correct on the second draft of these essays.