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As a language teacher, culture is one of the most challenging things to convey to students. It is relatively straightforward to introduce grammar and vocabulary, but culture is an entirely different topic, one that adds a level of complexity that is difficult to describe and harder to convey. I wish I could give students a living, breathing experience of what it is like to visit or live in a Spanish-speaking country, but school budgets and instructional hours typically do not allow for that. To apply my knowledge of Spanish and make it accessible and meaningful to students, I designed a website entitled ¡Que aproveche! An American Student's Encounter with the Culture and Language of Spanish Food.
I believe that students learn culture best from personal experience. It is possible that many of my students have never traveled outside of the country or their home state, and they may not continue studying a language. However, if students cannot learn a country's culture from their own experience, the next best way is to learn it from another person's experience, conveyed in a way that relates to students' lives.
When I created this website, I wanted to give students a taste of culture, based on my personal experience with Spanish food. I wrote from an American student's perspective so that students could relate; it's not a long text of facts, but rather a collection of anecdotes and experiences, backed by research. My goal is to give students a glimpse of what happens in another area of the world, opening their perspective beyond their school, community, and country, to recognize that the world is bigger than they can imagine and available to be explored.
Mills, Amanda, "!Que aproveche! An American Student's Encounter with The Culture and Language of Spanish Food" (2014). Honors Theses. 2492.
Honors Thesis-Open Access