In Spring 2018, I fulfilled Goal 10, which is the Foreign Language Proficiency goal.
In my freshman orientation, I took the language placement test and got placed into SPAN 320, which is unusually high for incoming freshmen. I was really excited and proud of myself to have been placed into a 300-level Spanish course because I believed I was ready for the challenge. I took 5 years of Spanish before Longwood, so I was not concerned about my ability to be successful. However, I was slightly concerned with not knowing how”advanced” the curriculum would be.
I was actually relieved to find out that SPAN 320 was not about grammar or memorizing vocabulary. The Spanish we used was all in context to discuss, analyze, and compare the following modes of communication: poetry, theatre, cinema, and narratives. This was perfect for me at this point in my Spanish student career because I was ready to actually apply Spanish into advanced forms of analysis.
What I found most interesting in this class was that Dr. Fernandez did not emphasize exams being the most important benchmark for recording success in the course. Instead, he emphasized participation and putting towards effort in our personal learning. We were under no pressure to speak perfect Spanish. As long as we were being proactive about any doubts we had and as long as we were putting in 100% of our efforts into doing our work with thought, we were golden. I really found this learning environment to be stress-free and I did not take this style for granted. I was motivated to put all of my effort into each of out assignments and I ended up with an amazing and well deserved grade by the end.
The artifact I chose to include was my final project of the semester. Students were given the choice of selecting a theatre production, a movie, or a narrative to analyze in an essay. I chose to write an analysis of a Mexican film titled Como agua para chocolate. This was the assignment I was most proud of in this course because I proved that I was able to critique a film’s metaphors, symbols, characters, scenes, angles, shots, context, and more completely in Spanish. I proved to myself that I was proficient in complex analysis skills in a completely different language.