world languages at a middle-school level usually encounter challenges such as convincing students why is important to know a language other than English. Our adolescents, nowadays, are very outgoing and have a great awareness of the world that surrounds them and its potential demands. Thus, they are not shy to ask, "What is the point of learning a foreign language?" Along with the need for instant gratification, our students do not feel a connection to the learning of another language unless we, as ambassadors of world cultures, bring to the classroom the perspectives, the practices, and the products of a culture other than the American culture.
Working in an urban district, I have always had a diverse student population. Teaching Spanish as a foreign language has proven to be a challenging task. Teachers, who like me, teach Spanish as a heritage language might identify with the difficulties that come across on daily bases, such as finding activities that will spark their interest, keep the motivation high, and at the same time improving student communication in speaking and writing.
As teachers, we might find ourselves required to teach the curriculum and cover materials that students must know and should be able to do at the end of each unit, and sometimes this goal becomes redundant and uninteresting for the students. Our students need to be engaged and excited when learning new things. From my personal experience, I have observed that Latin American history, when taught with visuals, sparks a great interest among students. They want to learn more about their ancestry, such as the rise and the fall of the Aztecs, or the traditions, symbols, and artifacts of the Taíno tribes in the Caribbean Islands. When listening to a Latin American history lesson, our students want to learn where their families and ancestors came from, what were their traditions, how their daily life was, and how they are preserving the culture nowadays. The unit that I will be writing and teaching must represent my students. It is very crucial that they feel an important part of the world culture and civilization.