|When we started offering the class, I looked at every textbook available in the market for Spanish heritage speakers, but there wasn't any option that seemed interesting or exciting. Additionally, they were all too expensive, especially if a student is planning to take one class of the sequence. |
While there are many OER materials already available, it felt like they were not cohesive enough to teach a class. For that reason, I tried to create cohesive units that progress from the basics but that can easily be modified by other users (which is the reason why all files were kept as word documents). One of the goals is that students learn to use their Spanish more accurately, with a clear understanding that the way the speak Spanish in the U.S. is part of their identity, but it may be misunderstood by speakers from other countries, especially if they do not speak English.
The 4 thematic units try to establish a language foundation that incorporates different grammar topics, but also explores identity texts, and create links to other media, such as movies, books and music.
The philosophy behind the materials also encourages students to see how being immersed in an English- speaking world affects their own variety of Spanish, and how it might be misunderstood by others. In addition to the thematic units, there are numerous worksheets that help students to understand common language mistakes, bit also that allow them to express their own opinions and share their background.
The following are the main goals of the materials:
- Strengthen students’ ability to recognize and use formal registers of the language, distinguishing them from colloquial or language (that may not be appropriate in a work situation).
- Strengthen students’ cultural identity.
- Recognize “Spanglish” and how to modify it to more standard language that monolinguals Spanish speakers (from other countries) would understand.
- Learn about the linguistic and cultural variety that exists in the Hispanic world.
- Improve their metalinguistic knowledge, to better prepare students that will continue to upper levels, or plan to work in a field that requires this knowledge, such as education.
The four units are centered on the following topics”
1) Cultural identity
Lengua: El alfabeto, los números (ortografía), partes de la lengua, sílabas, la interferencia del inglés en la ortografía.
Cultura: ¿Hispano o Latino?, Los apellidos, Cambio de código.
2) The Spanish language
Lengua: El concepto de conjugación y el tiempo presente (regular, con cambio en el radical, irregular y reflexivo); Cognados falsos; los acentos.
Cultura: La historia del español; el lenguaje coloquial; el español en el mundo; El concepto de registro
3) Food and cultural identity
Lengua: El presente progresivo; Prefijos y sufijos; calcos y anglicismos; la puntuación; homófonos (ortografía).
Cultura: Comida y cultura; el alfajor
4) Historical and controversial figures
Lengua: El pretérito (regular, irregular, con cambio en la raíz); Homófonos (parte II); más cognados falsos
It is important to recognize that this units create just a basic scope and sequence to help instructors have a base, and then be guided by the interests of their own students.