Spanish and Portuguese | SPAIN: The Cultural Context
S411 | 7604 | Professor Kathleen Myers

HISP-S 411  SPAIN:  The Cultural Context  (3 credits)	  ELECTIVE
Prerequisite:  Completed one course from S324, S328, S331, S333

What images or stereotypes of Spain and its cultures do we
have and how do they deviate from reality?  What defines culture and
cultural production?  How does the process of learning about a
foreign culture take place?  How can we foster the development of
cultural learning in Bloomington/our own community?  This course
examines our notions of Spain and seeks to build a more complex
understanding of contemporary Spanish culture.  In addition, we will
explore and analyze the process of cultural awareness.  To
accomplish these two goals, traditional classroom learning will be
paired with service learning: as S411 students learn about Spanish
culture they will, in turn, teach elements of it to Bloomington-area
preschoolers.  The teaching component will provide both active and
reflective ways to grasp cultural learning.  This course is based on
the philosophy that in order to really know something, you
must “learn one, do one, teach one.”

We will study five primary areas of cultural activity, using
cultural “texts” that range from literature and newspapers to music
and art.  Students will then form small groups that will work
together to adapt these cultural materials in order to create age-
appropriate lesson plans and vocabulary that they will present in
preschools.  This teaching component of the course will be guided by
readings on pedagogy and culture as well as in-class workshops.  The
experience gained in the preschools will then serve as
an “experiential text” for class discussion.  Observational and
reflective writing assignments (journals and compositions) about the
teaching experience will form the basis for these discussions.

All class discussion and writing assignments will be in
Spanish.  Required readings will be in English and Spanish.

By combining academic learning with teaching experience,
service learning will provide S411 students with a broader and
deeper understanding of the course content.  Service learning will
sharpen student awareness about cultural processes and foster a
sense of civic engagement. Students will have hands-on experience
related to how young children learn about culture while providing
area pre-schools with valuable expertise. As S411 students and
teachers you will learn about Spain’s cultural context while also
passing your ideas about culture and language along to area

***Attendance is ABSOLUTELY essential for this course.  Our
workshops, your group partners, and  community agencies depend on
you.  All unexcused absences will have a serious negative impact on
your grade.

HISP-S 411  #7604  9:05A-11:00A  MW  BH 321  Prof.  Kathleen Myers
Note:  This course has a service learning class component.
Note:  This course carries culture studies credit.