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Date of Graduation
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.
Ward, Victoria, "An Analysis and Application of Cultural Standards 2.1 and 2.2 from the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning Based on Firsthand Experiences Abroad" (2014). Honors Theses. 2474.