Relation to Standards
Foreign Langauge: Spanish
We agree with American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages to promote National Standars in Foreign Language Education Project [gopher://vmsgopher.cua.edu.:70/] which provides excellent guidelines for teachers and students on how to focus foreign language in their classrooms. Indeed, for those who are interested in learning Spanish should know with whom they will communicate in the language skills as well as understand other cultures and their contributions to the world. "Oliver Wendel Holmes' contention that the human mind, once stretched to a new idea, never returns to its former dimensions (The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table) underscores the benefits which the study of cultures through their own language can bring."
The Hispanic World Unit strives to help students develop to "understand a different culture on its own term. The exquisite connections between the culture that is lived and the language that is spoken can only be realized by those who possess a knowledge of both. American students need to be aware of other peoples' contributions to the world at large; their art of living, the solution they have found to the common problems of human life, and the patterns of behavior which order their world. Such awareness will help combat the ehtnocertrism which too often dominates the thinking of our young people."
National Foreign-Language Standards. [gopher://vmsgopher.cua.edu.:70/11gopher_root_eric_ae%3A%5B_a2000.wcs.nsp.fl%5D] (Please refer to the gopher document to get more details)
An evaluation of how the Hispanic World Unit addresses some of the National Foreign Language Standards:
- Communication: Communicate in Languages Other Than English. Students with advanced language skills will use their Spanish to obtain inoformation, understand and interpret writtend and spoken language on a variety of topics. Also they can present information, concepts, and ideas to peers on a variety of topics.
- Cultures: Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures. Students study these Hispanic countries from varied topics as culture, history, art, and so forth. Through collecting information, reading the document, discussion with groups, sharing with whole group, students are engaged in understanding other cultures from different perspectives.
- Connections: Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information. Many information in Hispanic World Unit are in Spansih and also relate to other disciplines, like Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Art and others. Students need to use their language skills associated with other disciplines to comprehend these information about thse countries.
- Comparasions: Develop Insight into Language and Culture. The activities conducted in the Hispanic World is trying to get students to reflet their impression about these Spanish-speaking countries, most of which are located in American continent. For American students, they will get insight into the language and cultrues in these countries. More over, they will reflect their insight into their own language and culture after reviewing these countries.
- Communities: Participaate in Multingual Communities at Home and Around the World. The Hispanic World Unit will provide students research guidelines for using their language and search skills to develop their own interests in deeper research about certain topics, like The Inca and The Maya cultures in Hispanic American, Literature in Argentina, and the relationship between Mexico and the United States, etc.
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