The questions in the title of this blog always run through my head as the beginning of each school year approaches. Many of us try to guess what topics, readings and or activities would attract our students. But why don’t we stop guessing and start asking? What has worked for me in the past is creating a survey and giving it to my students at the beginning and at the end of each school year. Like this, I find out what their interests are and I try to incorporate them into their curriculum.
The first year I gave my students a survey it was by projecting 4-5 questions on a power point slide, but now with google sheets, everything is much easier! You can give your students the survey and within seconds you will have your results! This is a powerful tool to use in your classroom if you want to really incorporate your students’ interests when creating materials for the classroom. Here is a link to a survey I created to use for these purposes:
Heritage Spanish Survey
Feel free to use it :) Also, here are some of the topics my students suggested should be included in a heritage Spanish curriculum:
Hasta la vista,
As a child, I remember most of my teachers pronouncing my first name correctly. Nancy. It's not a difficult name to pronounce. But, when it came to my last name it was like opening a Kinder Surprise egg; you didn't know what was going to come out of the teacher's mouth. My last name is Dominguez. Some pronounced it like Domingo, Dominique, you name it. When I was younger I just ignored it. However, when I got to high school it started bothering me. How hard can it be to pronounce Do-mín-guez. And why was it okay for my name to be mispronounced but Michael Roberts got all his syllables pronounced correctly? My name is who I am. My name defines my identity. My name is Nancy Domínguez.
Have you ever lived a similar experience ? I'm sure your students have. As a Heritage Spanish teacher I discussed this topic frequently with my students. Through these conversations I found that they too have lived similar experiences. They dislike when people mispronounce their names but sometimes they are to shy to speak up. The way I approached this was by exposing them to literature, videos and different activities that made them research the roots of their names and the importance it has on the formation of their identity.
Here are some of the activities I used. I hope they are of help in your classroom if this topic ever comes up ( I hope it does):
I hope this is helpful! Please feel free to comment and add any other activities and or resources you have utilized for this topic.