Last week I was tasked with both preparing a lesson for T.Dan’s Spanish 2 classes and writing an argumentative essay.
For my lesson I decided I wanted to teach the class about País Vasco, one of the regions in Spain that I have been studying.There is a lot of history in this region that is both complex and rich, the region has been around for so long that nobody knows where the Basque people or language came from! I could’ve spent a whole week going through the history of the Basque region and why the history is important, but that isn’t particularly interesting to Spanish 2 students. The lesson plan I arranged included a very very brief summary of the history of País Vasco, highlighting how long it’s been around and that it has been involved in many different political wars and conflicts across the years. I went on to discuss more deeply the biggest team in País Vasco, Athletic Club Bilbao. I used two different articles from my research, one in English and one in Spanish, to try to give the students an understanding of the importance of football and politics. Using English and Spanish at a lower level language course allows for the students to be more comfortable speaking freely, as well as understanding the cultural importance of the lesson. Both sections were engaged in the reading, valiantly reading the very difficult,high-level, Spanish article out loud. I tried to model T.Dan and some of his lessons from my French 2 class I took last year, but it is hard work to get lower level language classes out of their comfort zone. I found that once one person spoke, either answering or asking a question, it gave the other students courage to try their best to speak in Spanish and express their ideas. Being on the other side of things was definitely a very enriching and fun experience, that I am excited to do again in the coming months.
While working on my lesson plan last week, I also started work on an essay. Faced with the vague question, “does football use politics more or does politics use football more?”, I approached the essay wanting to explain how they both use each other to their respective advantages, and that it is a mutualistic relationship. I expressed my basic ideas and writings first, before going through a first round of editing with T.Dan. Then I used concrete examples in the text from the research and reading I have been doing throughout the first three weeks of the course. My grammar in my Spanish writing needs more work, and while researching is engaging and exciting, using this research to turn it into writing in Spanish is challenging. This is something I will continue to work on throughout the rest of the course.
This upcoming week, T.Dan and I have decided to put our attention into the very current issue of the Catalan referendum and breaking down all of the news coverage in Spain.