Teaching Honors Spanish II- An Exhilarating Experience
By Dr. Eladia Raya, Foreign Languages Department
The Spanish II LI112 Honors class gives students the opportunity to explore the language and the Hispanic culture beyond the textbook and the regular class assignments. It also provides them with a positive learning environment for working on their end of the semester project. In addition, students enjoy the smaller class setting that enhances interaction among them as well as supports the instructor in addressing more precisely student potential, strength and challenges in the language.
During the spring 2015 semester, my students chose for their end of the semester project a variety of topics ranging from an overview of the history of the NFL to a tourist guide of Spain. Some wrote about their favorite relative which provided an opportunity for a geography lesson on a foreign land. They all prepared PowerPoint presentations and participated in the Annual College Conference, a perfect venue to showcase their work, as well as an empowering experience that benefit their academic and professional opportunities. For me it is always an enjoyable experience and a proud moment to hear the student’s presentations.
I also incorporated a service learning component to the Honors class in the spring 2015 semester. The project consisted in a partnership with the World Journalism Preparatory School. Students from my Honors class taught a lesson about vocabulary of food and grammar structures needed to be able to order a meal at the Hispanic restaurant. They met with the visiting students at the Foreign Language Lab. for two double-session classes. My students presented PowerPoint lessons on vocabulary, grammar structures and pronunciation. They also practiced role playing ordering a meal at a pretend restaurant setting.
My students started the service learning project with enthusiasm, and they successfully completed it having gained further understanding of the concepts taught in class and having acquired a noticeable degree of language fluency as a result of their service learning experience. In terms of the visiting students, they came to QCC with the expectation of practicing language skills in our foreign language Lab. and they enjoyed the experience to the fullest. They also enjoyed a short tour of the campus, including the Holocaust Center, and a picnic in the beautiful Wenzhi Zhang Sculpture Garden. It was also a great opportunity to showcase our college and attract the attention of prospective students.
Personally, it was a very interesting and rewarding experience.