Course Description:

This course is service-learning based and provides an immersion opportunity in a real world Spanish-speaking environment. It is in keeping with the mission statement of the university “to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” The student is required to perform hours of service as designated on the course calendar with a community partner. The American Association of Community Colleges defines Service-Learning as a combination of “community service with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in activities that address community-identified needs, while developing their academic skills and commitment to their community.” Required readings focus on various aspects of Service-Learning within the Latino Community. Written journal entries in Spanish are required following each service date. A final written reflection paper in Spanish will be based on journal entries. Class discussions, in Spanish, focus on individual student experiences and readings as well as improvement of vocabulary and grammar.

Course Objectives:

To perfect language skills through practical application and observe cultural norms within the Latino community of Fort Worth, TX, in conjunction with an increased awareness of civic responsibility while developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Through writing assignments students will demonstrate their improvement in the Spanish written word and through class discussions their improvement in oral communication in Spanish. Through the service-learning component students will build their confidence level in a foreign language and move toward becoming stronger communicators in that foreign language, better informed of the world in which they live, more ethically minded, and more globally oriented.

Service-Learning Component:

Students will work in pairs at the chosen service-learning site. They will select the community partner with whom they wish to work on a first come first served basis. Every attempt will be made to match students with their first choice. A list of community partners from which to choose will be made available the first day of class. A variety of community partners will be provided so that students may select one in their own area of interest. Students will provide service at the selected community partner location during class time on the dates indicated on the attached calendar. Following each service-learning experience the student is required to write in Spanish in a journal observations made at the site and thoughts about the service before and after the visit and compile a vocabulary list of new Spanish words learned at the site and words learned to use at the site.

The Journal:

Bring to each class meeting. The following elements must be included:

  1. Name and location of community partner (only in first journal entry)
  2. Name and contact information of supervisor at service site. (only in first journal entry, unless person changes)
  3. Mission statement of community partner (only in first journal entry)
  4. Your expectations before each service date and how were they met or not met
  5. Date and length of service, including hours begun and finished
  6. What you did at the site.
  7. Whom you met at the site.
  8. How did the day go? What experiences did you have?
  9. What problems/frustrations did you encounter and how did you or someone else deal with them?
  10. What can you do now to better prepare yourself for your next visit?
  11. List of new vocabulary/expressions heard at site or found in reading for week with their English equivalents. If possible, include the context in which you heard or saw the words.
  12. In Spanish answer the questions a) What did I learn? b) How does that compare with what I already knew? and c) How does that make me feel?
  13. How have I changed as a result of this service?
  14. How has knowing Spanish affected your ability to perform at your service-learning site? Were you able to communicate easily in Spanish? Did your language skills improve? Because of your Spanish skills could you recognize issues that arose as a result of cultural differences and how did you deal with them? Did they make you more aware of your own cultural background?
  15. Write down any questions that occur to you as you read and work and reflect on your service.
  16. Be thorough in your journal entries, as most of the content of your final paper will be drawn from this information. Ideally, you should write in your journal as close to the end of each site visit as possible so that you do not forget any elements of the experience. The purpose is to get your thoughts on paper as soon as possible.
  17. In order to allow you freedom to express yourself, you will not turn in the journal. However, the professor will check to see that you are writing and answering the questions about the site visits.

The Vocabulary Lists:
Bring to each class meeting. The following elements must be included:

  1. The lists should be typed and double-spaced. Size 12-font. You will hand in the list each class meeting. No late lists accepted for credit, including by email.
  2. Create your own vocabulary lists based on your own service-learning experience. There will be three lists; one for words you hear at the community service site, one for words that you anticipate using that you think may help you better serve your community partner during your next visit but needed to look up in the dictionary before you went to the site, and one of any new words encountered in articles read in Spanish related to your service.
  3. You should have at least 10 new words/expressions from the site each week plus words for the other two list categories. Be prepared to share these words with the class at each class meeting.
  4. Process: Write down any words/expressions in Spanish that you did not know and look them up in a dictionary or other resource. If you are not sure how to spell what you hear, ask the person who used it to write it down for you. You may want to include sentences using the new words that either you write yourself or are quotes from how you heard them used at the site.
  5. You should take a small notebook with you to the site to write your vocabulary in as you hear new words.

Class discussions:
Be prepared to participate in the following manner:

  1. Have vocabulary lists and definitions ready to share with class members. They must be typed before coming to class. (See # 1 under “Vocabulary”)
  2. Bring observations of your site to share with the class. What challenged you each week? How did you meet the challenge? These do not need to be typed but you should have your ideas organized and ready to share.
  3. What did you learn that was unexpected? What was frustrating? What worked really well? Essentially, a summary of what you wrote in your journal.
  4. How does your own site work compare with the reading for the week?
  5. Be prepared to lead a group (large or small) discussion of the readings/topics/site visits each class meeting. Some discussions will be performed in a “rotating chair” format, meaning when you finish speaking you will call on someone else to continue the discussion. Be prepared to speak each class meeting!

Final Paper:

A term paper in Spanish based on your service-learning experience, journal entries for questions 4-14, readings, class discussions, and guest speakers is required to be handed in on the indicated date on the course calendar. The paper will be TYPED, DOUBLE-SPACED, 12 FONT SIZE, one inch left and right, top and bottom margins. Begin your paper on the top line and include the title of your paper, name of your site, and your name on a separate title page. Do not put this information on the first page of your paper. The last page will be a bibliography (MLA style) of sources. No late papers or emailed papers will be accepted. Your paper will be graded on correct use of Spanish language as well as content and your demonstration of understanding of Service-Learning and its impact on you as well as your impact on the community site. This paper is not just a list of what you did.

Grading of final paper:

  • Correct use of Spanish grammar—35 points
  • Brief (1-2 paragraphs) description of duties at site—10 points
  • Questions 4-14 proposed above addressed in body of paper—25 points
  • Demonstration of understanding purpose of service-learning—15 points
  • Examples from written texts included related to your field—15 points

Power Point Presentation:

The purpose of this presentation is for the student to display his ability to communicate at an advanced level in Spanish and display his/her knowledge about a professional organization in the community in which he/she lives. You will give a power point presentation in Spanish to the class on the date indicated on the course calendar. This will be 10-15 minutes in length. You should plan to include a minimum of 15 slides but may include more as long as the presentation fits within the time limit. A copy of the power point presentation must be handed in on your presentation day. Much of the information for your power point presentation will be found in your final paper and journal entries. You should take a camera to your site each time to gather photographs for this presentation. Do not write paragraphs on your slides; only brief statements. Be sure to ensure that your presentation works on the equipment in the classroom before the presentation day and know how to set it up. We will be working on a very tight schedule. Practice your presentation. It should be memorized and professionally done. Points will be deducted for lack of preparedness.

The following items must be included on the slides:

  1. Name of community partner, logo, and address
  2. Map showing location of service site
  3. Photograph of service site
  4. Mission statement of the community partner
  5. Purpose of the organization and how it functions
  6. Name and photograph of site supervisor (with his/her permission)
  7. Outline of your duties at the site
  8. Photos and description of any persons you were involved with helping (with his/her permission)
  9. In your opinion how does organization fulfill its mission statement or not
  10. Highlights of your service (as bullet points)
  11. Low points of your service (as bullet points)
  12. Most interesting Spanish phrases/words related to your service
  13. Briefly how this experience impacted you personally (as bullet points)
  14. Current news items about the community partner or related issues either in print or in the television/radio media or brochures
  15. Would you consider working/volunteering at this site in the future—why or why not?
  16. ???— Other items of interest you would like to share with the class

Grading of Power Point Presentation:

Power point ready on time and working—5 points ________
Required slides and topics—20 points ________
Presentation memorized and natural use of language—15 points ________
Use of correct Spanish grammar on slides and speaking—25 points ________
Creativity in presentation—10 points ________
Demonstration of knowledge of service-learning site—15 points ________
PP Presentation copy turned in on time—5 points ________
Attendance at all PP presentations—5 points ________

Required text: TBA. Required chapter readings will be included in the syllabus upon
selection of text.
Published articles on Service-Learning (TBA)
A good Spanish-English dictionary

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory for all classes and service dates as well as your arrival on time. If you find that you must miss class on a service date (only official university excused absences will be accepted; see the TCU student handbook), you must inform the community partner in advance and arrange an alternate day/time to make up the service. If for some unforeseen reason you will arrive late to your site, please be courteous and phone to let your contact person know when you will arrive. The community partner will keep a log of your time and conduct and that will be factored into your final grade. 3 points deducted from final grade for each unexcused absence.

Service-Learning Sites: TBA upon confirmation of community partners. Names,
addresses, phone numbers, contact persons, and description of sites will be included in the syllabus.

This is a tentative calendar and subject to change.

Week 1: Introduction to course and service-learning sites.
Week 2: Selection of class partners and of individual service-learning site, any
required applications filled out. “How to be a Good Service-Learner”: Guest speaker from Center for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning office of TCU.
Week 3: TCU campus.
Week 4: Pairs report to service-learning sites and begin projects. Journals. Readings.
Week 5: Pairs at service-learning sites. Journals. Readings.
Week 6: TCU campus. Bring journals and vocabulary lists to class. Discussions based on journals and new vocabulary. Grammar issues addressed. Articles selected.
(Possible guest speaker from community.)
Week 7: At sites. Write journal entries and vocabulary lists. Read articles/text.
Week 8: At sites. Write journal entries and vocabulary lists. Read articles/text.
Week 9: TCU campus. Bring journals and vocabulary lists to class. Presentations/discussions of site work and relationship of readings to site work. Grammar issues addressed.
Week 10: At sites. Write journal entries and vocabulary lists. Read articles/text.
Week 11: At sites. Write journal entries and vocabulary lists. Read articles/text.
Week 12: TCU campus. Bring journals and vocabulary lists to class. Presentations/discussions of site work and relationship of readings to site work. Grammar issues addressed.
(Possible guest speaker from community/TCU alumni)
Week 13: At sites. Write journal entries and vocabulary lists. Read articles/text.
Week 14: At sites. Write journal entries and vocabulary lists. Read articles/text.
Week 15: TCU campus. Final paper due. Power Point Presentation. Bring journals and vocabulary lists to class.

Grade calculation:

  • Journals 15%
  • Vocabulary 20%
  • Final paper 40%
  • Power Point Presentation 25%