Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

MIchael Braun

Second Advisor

Michael Millar


This paper is a reflective combination of personal experiences abroad and academic studies. Throughout my five years at Western Michigan University I was able to travel abroad twice. My first experience abroad was a study abroad program through Western to Burgos in the northern part of Spain. During the four months I spent in Spain I visited cities all over the country and saw how each region had its own sub-culture that, when put together, defined Spanish culture. The second time I went abroad was to volunteer teach in San Jorge, Nicaragua. My goal in Nicaragua was to teach instead of attend classes, so I was afraid I wasn’t going to learn as much about culture, but every activity I did taught me something about Nicaraguan culture. Both opened my eyes to how people lived day-to-day in other cultures. Left and right I would learn something new about various aspects of culture. After returning for the second time, I became more and more interested in studying culture in relation to the methods of teaching Spanish. I signed up for the Spanish methods course to be able to learn some techniques to utilize best practices for teaching Spanish culture. The knowledge of the content standards I gained was substantial. The difference between the two culture standards can be summed up by switching out the word practices’ for ‘products’. With what I had learned in the methods course it was easy to come up with some practical applications of appreciating culture based on the four-step method: appreciate, validate, make it stick, and justify. The final step to this study was looking into the future of teaching the appreciation of culture.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted