¡Bienvenidos to Spanish II!
In Spanish II and Spanish for Heritage Speakers, students have been exploring different cultures through film. Students have adopted the IB perspective to critically analyze cultural touchstones. Two of the movies viewed in class were “Valentín” from the country of Argentina, and “La Misma Luna” from Mexico. Through close viewing, students identified and investigated the similarities and differences between accents in different countries. For some students, it was the first time they have heard the way that Argentineans speak on a regular, day-to-day basis and could not help but notice how an accent changes the language.
Aside from determining how people in other Spanish-speaking countries use language, students also explored diverse cultural experiences by analyzing different social and political aspects depicted in the films. For example, in the film “Valentín”, students researched what was going on in the world in 1969, the year that the story takes place. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the 1960s was the decade of revolution and social change in the country. Students also read articles about events such as Argentina’s Dirty War, which was a time of military control. These activities sparked discussions among students about what they learned in their research and articles.
When Spanish for Heritage Speaker’s watched the film “La Misma Luna,” or “The Same Moon,” many students shared heartfelt stories about close family members and friends that experienced similar situations when immigrating to the United States. One student shared how he can closely relate to this movie because, at the moment, he lives away from his parents. His parents are in Mexico, but he and his sister live here in Chicago with relatives. Other students shared their parents’ or their own experiences when they came to this country. Students also evaluated articles that talked about underage children that traveled great distances on their own to the United States.
Film viewing is an amazing way of learning Spanish as a foreign language and its culture. Film has offered a tool that enables students to experience the Spanish language in context as it exposes students to real life conversation. Whether it be studying cultural interactions or exploring the nuances of accents, film gives way to discussions and research on social and political aspects depicted in the films.