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Integrating the Spanish Language & Culture into the Core Curriculum Barbara A. Sposet, Ph.D UNC CLAC Conference 10/15/08.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrating the Spanish Language & Culture into the Core Curriculum Barbara A. Sposet, Ph.D UNC CLAC Conference 10/15/08."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrating the Spanish Language & Culture into the Core Curriculum Barbara A. Sposet, Ph.D UNC CLAC Conference 10/15/08

2 Baldwin-Wallace College student body Liberal Arts College 15 minutes from downtown Cleveland, Ohio Largest divisions – business, education & social sciences

3 LAS 150/200 Six years ago the BW faculty approved a new addition to the core curriculum – LAS 150 Two major goals of the course are: 1) Heighten cultural awareness; and 2) Develop critical thinking & writing skills.

4 How It Works The course opens with a discussion on culture, leading to a definition of intercultural competence. The course includes primary sources from literature, letters and speeches starting with Plato through the events of 2001.

5 Reading Selections Selections are made by the individual instructors that relate to three enduring questions: What is human nature? How do humans relate to each other? How do humans relate to the natural sciences?

6 The LAC Connection Three years ago our LAC-FIG started thinking about developing a one-credit LAC option in French, German or Spanish that would parallel what was going on in the LAS 150 course. Today the goal is to share the materials used to meet the outcomes of this LAC option.

7 What is Human Nature? I chose Lopez & Fuente’s (Mexican) story “Una Carta a Dios”/A letter to God in which the main character, Lencho, writes a letter to God asking for 100 pesos to tide his family over for a year as a result of a hail storm that has damaged the crop.

8 Interception of Letter The postmaster intercepts Lencho’s letter and feels empathy for his situation so asks for donations from the mail carriers. What he collects – 70 pesos – is enclosed in an envelope with a blank piece of paper signed ‘God’ and is sent back to Lencho.

9 Conclusion When Lencho receives the letter, he immediately goes to church to offer thanks to God and say: Thank you, God, for sending me the money. But next time, don’t send it via the mail; they are a bunch of robbers/ladrones!

10 How Do Humans Relate to Each Other? To address this question, I chose a chapter from Cervantes’ (Spanish) epic novel, Don Quijote - specifically, chapter 4, his first adventure as a dubbed knight and Andres, the boy servant who is being beaten by his master.

11 Don Quijote vs. the Master Upon seeing the boy tied to a tree and being beaten, Quijote demands that the master untie the boy. “You do not understand – the boy has lost one sheep a day for a fortnight. This is his payment for my loss.”

12 Responses Don Quijote: Let the blows you have given him suffice. Let him go or I, Don Quijote, dubbed knight from la Mancha, will take your head off! The master, seeing such a strange man dressed as a knight some 200 years after their demise, fears for his life and lets the boy go.

13 Consequences As soon as the master sees Don Quijote ride off in the distance, happy with his first ‘victory’ on the side of right, goes back to beating the boy. In the end, the master releases the boy urging him to find the knight (in whom the boy believes) to right the wrong done to him.

14 How Do Humans Relate to the Natural Sciences? For this question, I chose the work of Pablo Neruda, specifically his poem “A la Standard Oil Co.” in which he laments the weak politicians who take money from companies who do not have the best interests of the country in mind.

15 Concluding Activity Each student was to create a poster utilizing one of the terms discussed in chapters 1 & 2 of the book “Spain is Different.” Utilizing pictures from magazines or the internet, the poster was to illustrate basic differences between the Spanish and the United States on such concepts as: family, individualism, and rules/laws.

16 Other Materials You are receiving copies of the syllabus used for the two semester I taught the course entitled “Spanish in Communication & the Enduring Questions of LAS 150.” A question and answer period followed my presentation.


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