Weekly Activities and Language Tables
Meet Laura and Blanca
Hola, I'm Laura Murillo from Costa Rica, I am a former student of Universidad Nacional in Heredia. I have a master degree in Education with a concentration in Teaching English as Foreign Language. I knew about the TA position because of a faculty member at Albion College in 2012. Two years ago, I came for the first time to United States for an academic internship and visited Albion College as part of the trip; on that visit, I knew more about the teaching assistant program and I decided that I wanted to participate in. Now, I am here and I am delighted to help students with their Spanish and experience things, but from the other side of the fence, as a Spanish native speaker.
Hola! My name is Blanca Estepa, I'm from Spain and I'm here as the Spanish TA for this academic school year. I'm working with the Spanish 201 students doing tutorials, language tables and weekly activities with Laura, the other Spanish TA. In Spain, I finished my Chemistry degree and now I'm doing chemistry research with Dr. Harris in his department. I'm so glad to be here not only because I teach students my language and culture but I also learn thing from the students. I'm leaning more about the English language from them and getting to know more about their customs and traditions.
As part of our intercultural experiences, we will share social and cultural aspects of our countries: Spain and Costa Rica. In our language tables and weekly activities, we will cook traditional dishes, talk about customs, learn about colloquial expressions, lifestyles, and among other. Though, this sharing time will also be a space for us to learn about the United States and to improve our proficiency in the English language as well. In sum, we want this experience to be worthwhile for all.
To learn more about Laura and Blanca or to get more information on the Native Speaker Teaching Assistant program, click here.
First-Year Experience Students Travel In and Out of La Mancha
Course Description—“The best novel in history: 100 renowned authors select ‘El Quijote’ in a survey conducted by the Nobel Institute.” Thus reads the title of a full-page article in El País from Wednesday, May 8, 2002. Most critics agree that Miguel de Cervantes’s work Don Quixote of la Mancha is a masterpiece of world literature that changed the trajectory of the genre of narrative fiction, and secured itself a privileged place in world culture. Virtually everybody has heard of Don Quixote and Sancho, and most have seen some representation of their (mis)adventures, be it the Broadway hit Man of La Mancha, the more recent made-for-TV movie starring Jon Lithgow, or Mr. Magoo’s Don Quixote. The phrase “tilting at windmills” and the adjective “quixotic” are found in English dictionaries. Don Quixote is all around us, especially this year, 400 years after the publication of Part II of the work. Nevertheless, relatively few human beings have actually read the entire book coverto-cover.We will study all of Don Quixote in translation and examine its intertextual relation to works that preceded it, and others that were inspired by it that have been produced in and out of Spain. Finally we will visit La Mancha (in December for one week) to see where it all began and to appreciate how this novel—set in a particular place and time—has managed to transcend seventeenth-century Spain. Students will discover that reading and analyzing this work—the first great modern novel—can be a challenging and life-changing experience.