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Advanced Spanish Learning Community

SABER: Advanced Spanish Learning Community 2009
An innovative coordinated studies program for native/heritage speakers and advanced second language learners


Learning Community Class Photo

Coordinated studies classes are a type of learning community in which students and program faculty explore a theme together from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. This year's theme is "Saber," which promises a rigorous examination of the construction of knowledge and the role of learning and education in the lives of speakers of both English and Spanish in Oregon's increasingly transnational communities. Applications are due on December 12, 2008.

History of the Program

The OSU Advanced Spanish Coordinated Studies course started in the spring of 2006 as a 12-credit course titled "Media as an Instrument of Social Change." Foreign Language faculty members Loren Chavarría, María Olaya, Juan Antonio Trujillo, and 20 students watched films, read books on agents of change in Latin America, analyzed the use of propaganda and stereotypes to control public opinion, wrote research papers, and worked together on a participatory media project. In addition to the classroom activities, students engaged in a minimum of six hours per week of community service within the local Spanish-speaking community.

The second course, taught in 2007, was called Fronteras. We explored the physical and psychological barriers that impact the way we relate to each other.

The 2008 learning community experience was centered on the theme of SABOR -- Sustento, Agricultura, Biodiversidad, Orígenes, Resistencia. Participants gained hands-on research experience with the Comidas Latinas food security assessment project, created short videos documenting the lives of Latinos in the region, and spent Fridays cooking complete meals from scratch in the MU East International Kitchen.

Highlight reel from the 2006 program [Quicktime movie]