Spanish Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Graphic Novels in Foreign Language Learning

Over the past decades the graphic novel has witnessed both increased popularity among readers as well as cultural and intellectual prestige among critics and academics alike – but what is its place within the foreign language classroom? Through a case study of first-year Spanish instruction, this presentation will address strategies for how language instructors can…

Historias de Indocumentados (Stories of the Undocumented)

Spanish Lecturer Amelia Barili is known for her innovative work in integrating language study with community involvement. One of Barili's recent projects is an anthology of stories of the undocumented, written in Spanish and translated into English by students in Barili's course Biographical and Autobiographical Writing: Telling the Stories of the Undocumented. A news story…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Exploring Digital Literacy Practices via L2 Social Reading

This exploratory study analyzes the digital literacy practices that resulted from learner-learner interactions within a virtual environment when collaboratively reading eighteen Spanish poems via a digital annotation tool over a four-week period in a college-level Hispanic literature course. Using an ecological theoretical perspective and centering on the affordance construct (van Lier, 2004), we investigate how linguistic characteristics of the poems affect the nature of learners’ annotations and also analyze how learners’ written comments/annotations change over time when engaging in L2 social reading. Findings suggest that when the lexical diversity of the poems increased, the number of literary affordances ...

Against the Odds: Literacy Sponsorship in One Migrant Student’s Trajectory to College

Ivan (pseudonym), the son of Mexican migrant farmworkers, rarely spent more than six months in the same school and by high school was still classified as an English language learner. This article traces Ivan’s experiences as a language learner and writer, telling his story in his own words through his writing and ethnographic data collected during his junior year of high school and his first year of college. I examine how literacy sponsors (Brandt, 2001) helped or impeded his reading and writing as he worked to change his life. Through Ivan’s writing and oral reflections, I argue that rather than solely supporting their reading and writing development, literacy sponsors for immigrant second language writers support learners as a whole. Central to Ivan’s evaluation of his literacy sponsors is the role of caring relationships—or lack thereof—that endured longer than the technical literacy skills he learned from any one sponsor.

Marginalization of Local Varieties in the L2 Classroom: The Case of U.S. Spanish

The United States is one of the world’s most populous Hispanophone countries, with over 35 million Spanish-speakers. In addition, Spanish is the most widely taught foreign language in the United States, with more students enrolled in Spanish at the higher-education level than in all other modern languages combined. How, then, is the United States’ status as a top Spanish-speaking country reflected in the treatment of sociolinguistic variation in Spanish as a Foreign Language (SFL) curricula at the university level? This case study of a large, public university in the Southwest, which is home to an SFL program among the largest in the country, explores that question using a two-tiered approach. First, an analysis is conducted to examine ...

Business Spanish in the Real World: A Task-Based Needs Analysis

The growing demand for Spanish for Specific Purposes (SSP) courses at universities in the United States in the last two decades (Klee, 2015) has brought to light the need for more theoretically driven research in this field, which can inform pedagogical decisions and materials design. The present study conceptually replicates Serafini and Torres (2015), adopting a Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) approach to instructional design, and it aims to contribute to the under-researched field of SPP by ...

An Activity Theoretical Approach to Social Interaction During Study Abroad

This case study examines the orientation to social interaction by one study abroad student who spent a semester in Spain. Using an activity theoretical approach, the findings indicate that the student did not only view social interaction with his Spanish host family and a expert-Spanish-speaking age peer as an opportunity for second language (L2) learning, but also had other goals for the interactions such as relationship building and enjoyment. The analysis further highlights ...

“Got Llorona?”: Teaching for the Development of Symbolic Competence.

Cultural and literary texts are used in the foreign language classroom to support learners’ language development, cultural awareness, and reading comprehension. While classroom activities frequently facilitate a literal understanding of facts and events, these texts offer another potential level of analysis: symbolic dimensions, which focus on ...

Spanish for You: Student-Centered and Languages for Specific Purposes Methods in Lower-Division Spanish

This article investigates a project that used student-centered teaching and languages for specific purposes to increase university students’ motivation to study Spanish and willingness to communicate. After reflecting on their personal goals and interests, students were required to choose a purpose or context in which they might use Spanish in their future. Then students were encouraged to seek opportunities to foster their own language and culture learning related to the unique purposes that each student had selected. Data sources included ...

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