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SPANISH IN THE U.S.: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PUBLIC PEDAGOGY OF LANGUAGE

 

In this course we examine the social implications of the presence of Spanish as a language of identification of millions of United States’ citizens in the context of an English-speaking majority. We wil study Spanish‑English contact phenomena from a variety of perspectives, outlining social, linguistic, political, and educational aspects. The main focus, however, will be on language as a local, cultural practice and how this practice manifests imbalances of power within established principles of democracy. Some of the issues that we will explore are linked to questions such as: 1) what attitudes are manifested in texts that represent Spanish and populations associated with this language in the context of the United States history? 2) How language as culture is manifested in U.S. public discourse? 3) What is the position of language in complex citizenship and social justice debates? 

 

 

To be directed to the course's blog with syllabus and assignment information, please click here.

BILINGUAL EDUCATION: A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION

 

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a critical applied linguistics perspective on the teaching, learning principles, and science, behind TESOL education. More than advancing "techniques" and "how-to" ways to help students learn, we will consider how to create meaningful opportunities in the classroom through which students will be able to make connections and practice a second language taking into account:

  • The science of second language learning and the methodologies -that it yields;

  • The imperial history of language, particularly English and its relationship to other languages;

  • The sociopolitical factors that affect learning in K-12 sites (policy);

  • Methodologies and their assumptions about language.

 

To be directed to the course's blog with syllabus and assignment information, please click here.

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 Pedagogy and Testimonio (*Taught in Spanish)

 

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the Latin American testimonio as a multifaceted discursive genre. We will analyze testimonios not only as examples of material culture (i.e. literature, film, art, court transcripts, etc.) but also as a a  social phenomenon related to movements of social justice in in the context of Latin America and the U.S. Our aim is therefore to understand how testimonios circulate in public discourse, and how discourses on testimonios can become coopted in ways that are counterproductive to the social causes that they espouse.

 

A few of the questions that we will be asking ourselves throughout the semester are:

 

  • What are the actual meanings of testimonio within the various "fields" in which they appear (Law, Literature, Sociology/Anthropology, History, Education, etc.)?

  • What and whose purposes do testimonials serve? 

  • How do intellectuals appropriate marginalized gorups' testimonials?

  • How does the issue of "authenticity" and "voice" affect public understandings of testimonios and their function as pedagogical or expository tools?

  • How are Latin American and U.S. Latino testimonios coopted by curricular initiatives in the United States? In other words, how are testimonial texts framed for students of Spanish in U.S. academia? 

 

To view this course's website to acces course materials, calendar, and assignments, please click here.

Introduction to Portuguese
 

This is an intensive course in Portuguese that will serve to present grammar - and vocabulary - as a "living thing," within a specific cultural setting, and not as a fixed set of rules (although the understanding of “rules” and what they signify to the learning of languages will certainly be discussed in the context of your education).

 

 

 

 

The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the study of the Portuguese language by increasing their linguistic / cultural awareness of it. Think of this course as an inquiry into what language can be acquired inside of a classroom in order to help you learn outside, i.e. language as practiced in specific regions of the U.S., Brazil, Portugal, Cape Verde, etc."

 

 

Upon successfully completion of this course, it is my hope that students will: 1) understand the major grammatical structures of Portuguese and how they differ from those employed in English and other Romance languages; 2) be more capable of thinking critically about language and its significance within a culture, and apply this skill to communicative contexts.

 

 

To view this course's website to acces course materials, calendar, and assignments, please click here.

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