This writing sample comes from my Spanish Practical Speaking & Writing Course where we were still trying to develop further our ability to understand what it was that we were reading. We were required to go to BBC Mundo for this assignment and find an article about a current event, and summarize it. At the time, clowns were all the rage, and people were dressing up as clowns and standing in peoples neighborhood so I read an article about this topic. I then had to write a short summary about the article, and be able to explain it to the class as well. This assignment helped me a lot because I was able to develop my reading outside of what it was I could read in a textbook. Having to read about something going on in the real world was very important, and I taught myself confidence in the fact that I could do it. This artifact fits perfectly into the Developing 2 category of the Levels of Competence because it demonstrates my ability to read texts such as articles and reports that are concerned with contemporary problems.
This artifact comes from the second Spanish class I took in my time at Drake, Spanish Practical Speaking & Writing. I took this class in fall of 2016, after not having taken a Spanish class for nearly a year due to the rigor of my other necessary classes. You can tell that this composition is a little bit out of date, and my language is not as developed as it should be. I would even go as far as to call myself a movie in that I understood some of what I was talking about, but a lot of it probably came from a translator or verb conjugator. I chose this artifact because it was fresh and shows a lot of growth in comparison to my next writing artifact from Latin American Legends.
This artifact comes from my Latin American Legends class. I chose this artifact because this assignment, I decided to really push myself to another level. My partner, Andie Contreras-Murales is from Guatemala, and is a native Spanish speaker. I knew that going into the project, so I wanted to be the one to do all of the translations. It would be easy for Andie, but for myself it would be a bit more of a challenge. So, with this project I did all of the Spanish to English translation, and of course, assisted in the research, and collection of more information about our partner, Itxaso. Luckily for me, if I had something incorrect, Andie was there to explain the grammar and sentence structure issues in my writing or translation, and fix it. I learned a lot from working with Andie and I am very grateful for her partnership on this big project Through this I was able to stretch my limits of Spanish writing and translation to create well structured texts that convey my message smoothly.
This presentation comes from my Latin American Culture class. In this class, we learned a lot about what is, and isn’t, socially acceptable in Venezuela. This presentation was given at the end of the semester, and in it I discussed a lot of information from different sources throughout the year. After having read La Hacienda and having watched To Be a Miss, a documentary about the culture surrounding beauty pageants, I was able to piece together a topic of the fight between race, social status and beauty in Venezuela. At this point, I had learned so much about Venezuelan culture, I could have gone in so many different directions with this presentation, but these three topics were the ones I was interested in the most. throughout, you can see I discuss a lot of different things that have some sort of affect on the relationship between my three targets. These are very complex topics, that in English, are even sometimes difficult to understand. I would say by this time, my presentational speaking fell under Expanding 1, because sometimes my thoughts and points were off track, but still came together to formulate one overall idea.
I selected this artifact for a multitude of reasons. It is very recent, as I just completed an assignment for my Latin American Women of Influence class using TalkAbroad, a video chat service with someone from a different county. It is demonstrative of my ability to speak fluently in conversation with spontaneity. I prepared a list of 10 or so questions for a 30 minute conversation, and we only actually got to about 5 or 6 because our conversation was going in other directions, that I did not expect, but I was easily able to adapt. I also chose this artifact because I felt very confident in myself in this conversation. Although there may have been a few lapses in what it was that I understood, listening to it back, I feel that this conversation is a great demonstration of my capabilities in speaking with Native Spanish speakers.
This artifact comes from one of my very first Spanish Classes at Drake University. For this assignment, we were required to pair up with a partner and create a dialogue that would be presented to the class, in this case, about quitting your job because you’ve won the lottery. My partner Ella and I spent a lot of time creating these situations, to be sure it was a very interesting project. I chose this artifact for listening because although my use of the language does not sound great, you can tell that I understand the conversation being had. I remember the most difficult part of this project was not having a script. We only knew the topic idea, and had to come up with the rest of the conversation. In the beginning, I was a bit discouraged because Ella’s father is a native Spanish speaker, so she grew up around Spanish her whole live, and I had only been taking it for four years in high school. I feel as this assignment demonstrates my ability to keep up with the conversation very well, and I would list myself under developing 1 for levels of competence. I would not say that, even today, I am at an expert level of listening, I still often times have to ask Native Spanish speakers to slow down so that I can understand better, but I am much improved from this particular instance.
In July of 2016 I had the privilege to travel to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and experience a traditional Dominican Republic wedding. When I first learned I would have this opportunity I was very excited. At this point I had been studying Spanish for nearly seven years, and this would give me the opportunity to put my skills to the test, and enjoy my Uncle’s wedding at the same time! We spent a week in Punta Cana and I have never spoken so much Spanish to native speakers before! From the town guy by the pool, and learning about his life, to the woman serving us breakfast, and learning about food native to the DR, it was an overall great experience. I was one of few people there or the wedding that spoke and understood Spanish, so getting the chance to translate for my family and friends whenever I could was very exciting. Because of my use of Spanish in the DR, my family was able to receive an adjoining room for my brother and I next door to my parents, when we had originally been placed in different buildings, and we were even able to get a discount on some of the professional pictures we had taken while we were there!