Spanish and Portuguese | SPAIN: The Cultural Context
S411 | 8314 | Professor Kathleen Myers


HISP-S 411  SPAIN:  The Cultural Context  3credits)
CULTURE / ELECTIVE
Prerequisite:  One course from S324, S328, S331, S333, S334.

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.

The Mission of Service Learning in S411
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 preschoolers.

***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  #8314  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 and A & H credit.