Reflective Writing for Spanish Assignment

Objective: The goal of the cultural project is to provide you with an opportunity to interact with the Hispanic culture and reflect on that interaction.

Assignment: You will participate in one cultural event or interview a native speaker of Spanish over the course of the semester. Depending on the event, you may need to do some research in order to add to your understanding of the cultural context. After participating in the event, you will write a 1-2 page reflection paper in English (double spaced, 12pt font) about the experience.

You have two options:

1. Find a native Spanish speaker and interview them about their culture. Use the textbook to get ideas on the types of questions you can ask. First practice the content you’ve studied in the class (in Spanish), then ask them some more advanced questions in English to get to know their culture. How do you find a native speaker? Many neighborhoods in NY are predominantly Spanish-speaking, and people working in restaurants or bodegas will love to talk to you about their culture (Fun place: check out Toñita’s in Williamsburg). You can also interview the tutors from the Language Center or other fellow students in John Jay, many of them are native speakers of Spanish. However, you cannot interview your instructor, take advantage of this activity to meet more Spanish speakers.

2. Find an event in your community related to Hispanic culture, attend, and reflect on it. Discuss the event with your instructor before attending. Some ideas: El día de los Muertos or Puerto Rico’s Independence Parade. You can follow cultural institutions on Instagram like El Instituto Cervantes in NY or Repertorio Español (a theater where they only have played in Spanish).

In your reflection, you will have to respond to the following prompts:
• Describe the event/interview you attended
o What was the event? When and where did it take place? How did you find out about it? Why did you participate in it? How did you participate in it? Who sponsored the event or played a part in creating it? Was there a certain country or group of people specifically involved or represented in the event?

• Explain what you learned from the event/interview and your reaction to the event
o Did you have any background knowledge on the type of event or the specific event itself before you participated in it? What do you know 1 now about it? What does the event show you about Hispanic culture? Does a similar event occur in your own culture? If so, how are they similar or different? If a similar event does not exist in your culture, do you wish it did? Why or why not? Did you feel comfortable or uncomfortable participating in the event? Why? What points of view were promoted or criticized in the event? How? Did you have problems understanding the event culturally or linguistically (because of Spanish)?

• Identify how the event relates to your study of Spanish in class
o How did your class prepare you to participate in the event? How will participating in the event help prepare you for class? What do you wish you could have learned in class that would have helped you better participate in the event? After having participated in the event, what would you like to learn more about in your Spanish class?