"Uno no es creativo por el mero hecho
de dejar volar la imaginación o dar rienda
suelta a acrobacias gráficas y verbales.
La persona creativa aprovecha bien su
imaginación. Es disciplinada en relación
a cada idea, cada pensamiento, cada palabra
que utiliza, cada imagen que muestra"
Incorporating innovative, meaningful activities that help students to learn the Spanish language and the cultures of its native speakers in all four basic [language] skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as connecting these skills with both the mode and the direction of communication, inculcating respect and the ability to value global consciousness and cultural diversity are challenges I undertake with pleasure every academic year.
Students are not always enthusiastic about the challenges that accompany new language acquisition so my aspiration as a teacher is to make my students´ learning as engaging and amusing as possible, while they identify and absorb cultural aspects and recognize features of diverse Spanish-speaking countries. Most, if not all, students in the New Haven Public Schools are exposed to other cultures daily but are not equipped or do not feel sufficiently comfortable to take advantage of such an invaluable experience since they do not know how to deal with the unfamiliar.
The unit La Publicidad en Español is designed as a vehicle to introduce students to the world of advertisement through the cultures and identities of various Latin American and South American countries, such as Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Colombia; as well as Spain and to the world of visual arts and advertisement.
Throughout the unit, we will apply the fundamentals found in any world language classroom, the "5Cs" of the National Standards of Foreign Language Learning (NSFLL): Cultures, Connections (among disciplines), Comparisons (between cultures), Communication and Communities.
Many, if not most, of my students are in need of improvement in the areas of critical thinking and analysis; when I encourage them to interpret a text or to write a review or essay or even to comment on a piece of art or photography, I need to prompt them with a great amount of detail; otherwise, they feel lost. Through the development of the present unit, students will be able to assimilate the basics of advertising and marketing, learn to decode and interpret advertisements via a myriad of media including posters, bill boards and commercials from different Spanish-speaking countries. They will be able to understand that cultural identity is the result of many historical, anthropological, social and religious factors. They will also learn that even though Latin and South American countries may share common cultural aspects, they are very different in others. Students will be able to draw conclusions regarding the great diversity among Spanish speaking nations by examining their intrinsic cultural features.
The unit is to be taught at Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven. Career is an inter-district magnet high school with a student body of about 700 students. The school focuses on providing students with the skills and education needed to pursue careers in the fields of business/technology and health/science. The population is 53% African American, 27% Hispanic, 17% White, 3% Asian. About 67% of the students receive reduced lunch. Students are required to complete 28 credits in order to graduate, more credits than mandated by the state. A high percentage of Career graduates, go on to study in two- or four-year colleges.
The mission of Hill Regional Career High School is to prepare students to become productive members of their own community and global society by providing an educational environment that establishes rigorous standards of academic performance with a focus on health and business. We encourage students to maximize their potential by promoting critical and creative thinking, developing technological competence, and fostering respect for a diverse and changing world. These goals are the shared responsibility and commitment of the staff, faculty, students, parents and community.
I will use this unit with my Business Spanish students, who have an Intermediate level on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Performance Guidelines for K-12.
Since these particular world language students are able to use advanced grammatical structures, we will be working on increasing their levels of proficiency in all four language skills previously mentioned. Students will hone their higher-order thinking skills as they learn to express complex opinions and analyze advertisements and commercials. Even though the class follows the district's Spanish III curriculum in essence, it is an honor-level class with its own specific curriculum including units such as "Money and Remuneration", "Types of Businesses", "Accounting", "Banking", "Publicity" and "Advertising", etc.
Most of the class activities for this unit will be conducted in Spanish, but English will be used when necessary. With proper modifications, the unit could also be taught in Spanish 4 or in Advanced Placement Spanish Language.
The material will be covered in a period of about 10 to 13 sessions, each of which will be eighty-two minutes in length; these long periods will allow me to implement complex strategies and a variety of activities without interruption