Student Projects
Students in the course, Methods of Teaching Modern Languages,  have created units which integrate faith and moral issues with the subject matter.  Each unit progresses through three levels: basic – a vocabulary/grammar study which provides background to the issue, values-centered – an analysis of the values integral to the issue, and faith-informed – an exploration of the Christian perspective of the issue under study. Students come to understand the subject through the eyes of those in the target culture as well and through an examination of Scriptures and their application to the issue.
 
Students and their projects are:
Breaking Through the Barriers of Hispanic Gangs in the U.S. with the Gospel of Christ
Lauren Hentzen '10 & Mary Cramb Mickelsen '09
This project explores the issue of understanding Hispanic gangs in the United States on three levels. In the basic level, students examine the history of gangs and the causes behind their growth and the statistics behind the matter that cause it to be so pertinent and pressing. As part of this level students learn the present subjunctive which allows students to express their feelings and ideas in Spanish as they examine this issue. The second level, values-centered, provides an overview of the reasons and motivation that cause young people to join gangs, studying issues such as retro-acculturation and how inclusion in a gang can help fulfill the needs and wants of these Hispanic youth. The final section, faith-informed, discusses what is currently being done to reach these youth and how God calls His people to serve Him by serving them.  Specific activities are provided for each level to assist students in integrating and processing what they are learning.  Students emerge with an understanding of the values and needs of these youth and their families and the circumstances surrounding this issue as well as developing what a Christian response should be to minister to this “stranger” in our country.
 
The Unit Plan
Level I: Basic - Grammar and Vocabulary
Level II: Values
Level III: Faith-Informed
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Cultivating Compassion in the Classroom: A Study of the 2005 Guatemalan Mudslide and Its Effects to the Present
Rachel Martinez '10 & Michelle Shaffer '10

Guiding students through three levels of learning, this unit focuses on the tragic consequences of Hurricane Stan on the Guatemalan people in 2005.  In the basic level, students use the natural disaster vocabulary and regular preterit verb tense to become familiar with the topic. Simultaneously, students examine the state of poverty in Guatemala and the government’s reaction and response to natural disasters.  In the values-centered level, students are encouraged to become involved emotionally and evaluate what is of importance to the Guatemalans in the situation of the mudslide in Panabaj. Lastly, in the faith-informed level, a study of Scripture leads students to develop Christ-like compassion for the plight of these people, asking, “What can I do to help?”  Understanding true biblical compassion, students research and determine practical ways of what they as students can do to make a difference.  At each level of the unit students complete corresponding activities to provide scaffolding for their learning.  The unit’s goals are for students to develop a sensitivity to the issue, to embrace Christ’s call to care for the “stranger,” and finally to understand what a Christian response should be in this situation.

 
The Unit Plan
Level I: Basic - Grammar and Vocabulary
Level II: Values
Level III: Faith-Informed
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Semana Santa: Examining its Practices and Traditions with Those in the U.S.
Christina Sottile '11 & Ashley Zanolini '11

In this project students look at the traditions, customs, and history of Semana Santa or Holy Week in Spain such as the rituals, confraternities, floats, costumes, and the processional religious images. In addition, vocabulary related to the Holy Week celebration is learned, and the religious views and values of the Spanish are discussed and analyzed. These latter include the Spanish appreciation for aesthetic beauty, the church’s view of suffering and sacrifice in this religious observance, and the roles of religion and tradition in the development of the Semana Santa rituals. Students discover a “stranger” that has colorful traditions that are both religiously and culturally rich.  While appreciating the significance of these practices for the Spanish people, students are then encouraged to look beyond this image of the “stranger” as they analyze the Semana Santa practices for scriptural support.  Finally, using Scripture as the measuring stick, the activities and religious practices of both Semana Santa and the U.S. celebration of Easter are compared to determine which practices are truly Christian, both here and abroad.

 
The Unit Plan

Level I: Basic - Grammar and Vocabulary

Level II: Values

Level III: Faith-Informed

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Ketchup and Salsa: Hispanic Influence in the U.S.

Andrew Bell '12 & Lauren Miralia '12

Aspects of Hispanic society in the U.S. (business, family, and faith) are examined through original video interviews by the project’s developers (Andrew and Lauren).  By showing the humanity of the U.S. Hispanic community, this project seeks to eliminate students’ prejudices and helps students to develop a biblical perspective of these “strangers.”

The Unit Plan

Video

Level I: Basic- Grammar and Vocabulary

Level II: Values- Business, Family, and Faith

Level III: Faith-Informed

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Deeper than Skin: Understanding Racism in Latin America and Beyond

Erin Kregar '12 & Alyssa Sabo '12

This project examines the racial division that exists in parts of Central America through an interview with a Costa Rican pastor and deconstructs preconceived notions about Latinos living in the United States through several Myth Busters activities.  Students come to realize the value of all individuals as God’s creations as they wrestle with understanding what racism is.

The Unit Plan

Level I: Basic- Grammar and Vocabulary

Level II: Values

Level III: Faith-Informed

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