Date of Award

5-2010

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Kristina Passman

Second Committee Member

Gisela Hoecherl-Alden

Third Committee Member

Kimberly A. Huisman

Abstract

My project is a model course for advanced students in Spanish based on a series of modules about immigration, the Hispanic experience in the United States, the Hispanics in Maine, Peru as a specific country of origin and four Peruvian immigrant women in Maine as my case studies. In this project I will use authentic materials on immigration following what the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proposes as the standards for a curricular framework that enables students to acquire language embedded in its culture-specific and global contexts. The students will have the opportunity to make connections between the language they are learning and their own experience, comparing the target language and culture with their own community. Language instructors commonly refer to this as the five C's of language teaching: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. I consulted with area high school Spanish teachers, and they explained how they are using the Maine Learning Results and the ACTFL standards in their classes; this information helped me to shape my project I structured these modules or units considering the different kinds of learners. I included an extensive variety of authentic material in Spanish (videos, songs, art, literary texts, theater plays, newspaper articles, podcasts, statistics, and graphs) to make the material accessible to visual, kinesthetic, auditory, tactile, verbal or analytic learners. I will teach this material to them so they can learn how to think critically about the debate on immigration and their own increasingly multicultural society. The students will also learn how to express their opinions in the target language. This material is appropiate for college level courses in Spanish. It can also serve as a model for classes in other target languages using the ideas presented within the cultures being studied. This work is also appropriate for courses in English dealing with multiculturalism, immigration, and women's issues. I will provide material for the AP Spanish teachers, to be made available through the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) which aligns with the Maine's Learning Results in K-12 classrooms and develop materials for the college level, considering the University of Maine's mission.

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