Portafolio de Español

Sobre Mí

Mi nombre es Alexis Cruz. Esta página es para mi español menor. Siempre quise estudiar español porque soy mexicana. Creo que para poder entender quién soy necesito saber el lenguaje que un trozo de mi familia usó en el pasado. También, Me interesa la historia latinoamericana. A menudo miro al empleado lo que sé del pasado de un país para entender dónde está en el presente. Entoncés, conocer el idioma ayuda a conocer el país. Así que, aquí estamos.

(My name is Alexis Cruz. This page is for my Spanish minor. I always wanted to study Spanish because I am Mexican. I think that in order to be able to understand who I am I need to know the language that a piece of my family used in the past. So here we are.)

A continuación se presentan los otros requisitos para esta cartera, algunos en inglés otras cosas en Español

(Below are the other requirements for this portfolio, some in English, other things in Spanish)

También, si necesitas un foto de mí, miras en mi página de Sobre mí real.

(Also, if you need a photo of me, look at my real about page.)

Los Artefactos y Las Reflexiones

Though the heading is in Spanish I do need to do this in English as such that is why there are links on everything to force this page to act as a mini blog for the requirements of the capstone course in which we made Electronic portfolios to obtain our Spanish Minors.

  • El Artefacto Uno
    • This Composition is one of the first fuller writing pieces I had to do in the program. It talks about problems of church and state drawing on examples from Mexico and the colonization of Latin America by Spain. This artifact represents my abilities primarily in writing and secondarily cultural understanding. If you click the link a download will commence.
  • El Artefacto Dos
    • This Composition is another writing piece I did while in the program. It talks about Casa Tomada by Julio Cortazar. This artifact represents my abilities primarily in reading and secondarily in writing and cultural understanding. If you click the link a download will commence.
  • El Artefacto Tres
    • This Composition is another writing piece, however, it is more than a writing piece as it is the cumulation of another activity in which we had to speak with native Spanish speakers through the program Talk Abroad. While speaking I choose to talk about the idea of family and what family means to people of a different culture. This artifact represents my abilities in primarily in cultural understanding and secondarily in writing; as well as to a certain extent interpersonal speaking. If you click the link a download will commence.
  • El Artefacto Cuatro
    • This is one of the very first Talk Abroad sessions I have had. As such it represents my abilities of interpersonal speaking and listening.
  • El Arefacto Cinco
    • This is one of the very last Talk Abroad sessions I have had. I choose to include it because I believe it demonstrates growing confidence in my ability. As such it represents my abilities of interpersonal speaking and listening.
  • El Artefacto Sies
    • I choose to include this artifact because it shows that I can understand a Spanish language film. And it is the last fuller writing piece I had to do. As such it demonstrates a vast improvement in my writing abilities. This artifact represents my abilities primarily in listening and secondarily in writing. If you click the link a download will commence.
  • El Artefacto Siete
    • This artifact represents my abilities in presentational speaking. Let me say that I hate presentations. I can never stay on script. When we did this presentation in class we did not get notes anyway but it does represent an improvement in my ability of speaking in a group. I do better in large group class discussion.

Reflexión Sumativa

This portion had to be in English so it is in English.

Overall

In high school, I was a French student and I was OK, not the best not the worst. I could get the content but my usage of the language in most aspects needed a lot of work. As such, when I started my time at Drake I never imagined doing a language again. However, I reached a time in my Sophomore year where I realized I was bored, that I wasn’t being challenged in my regular classes. I felt that something was missing. As such the easiest thing to enhance my learning was to pick up a language. I debated between French and Spanish and ultimately ended up choosing to learn Spanish. It is a piece of my heritage. As I said above, I think that in order to be able to understand who I am I need to know a language that a majority of my family used to speak. My journey with Spanish has enabled me to understand a piece of myself as well as aided me in my interest in Latin American history. Through the World Language and Culture Program at Drake, I was able to grow as a person and as an academic. My Spanish studies will continue to impact my overall historical studies as I look to gain my Master’s degree in History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Listening

I think this is my most improved upon skill. There were many opportunities for me to practice this skill. Continuously going to the conversation hours that Drake holds each semester, spending a J-term in Mexico, and the talk abroad sessions all helped me to improve upon these skills. All this cumulated in my experience within my last Spanish class, Film: Memory and Society. Yes, I struggled with this class. I realized pretty earlier on that most of the Spanish I had come into contact with was of the Mexican dialect. Through this film class, I was able to encounter multiple varying dialects of Spanish. My listening skills at Drake have grown in leaps and bounds, especially in this last year alone.

Reading

This is my best skill. It might be the fact that French and Spanish have some similar words and grammar. Still, I had to learn the language first and the slang of different dialects can throw me off. For example, in one Spanish class we had to choose a word from the articles that were due that we did not know; half the time this would be a slang word. Likewise, my reading of Casa Tomada demonstrates an ability to understand the literal translation. As well as the ability to take the information and utilize it to speak on related topics to the text thereby going beyond the literal. My competency in reading Spanish has grown tremendously since this time and I hope that it continues to do so by reading more challenging texts.

Interpersonal Speaking

I am a naturally quiet person unless I am really confident in what I am saying and that only really applies to historical subjects. Nonetheless, through my usages of the Spanish Conversation Hours, I know that this skill has improved greatly. From barely being able to speak with Pablo my Junior year I can have full conversations now with Marcela. Though I know my speaking needs work, I have a French accent and a tendency to slip into French. My continuing goal is to keep speaking in everyday conversations to improve this. Nonetheless, every time I leave a conversation hour or a small group discussion I feel that I understand more and more. I know that being able to actively engage with the people around me is important. I’m from Lincoln, NE where there is a significant Latino population and it is my hope that I can continue to grow and engage people with Spanish

Presentational Speaking

This is probably my worst skill still. I am much more confident than I was when I started my Spanish courses but I still have problems speaking in large groups. Thankfully every course I have taken at Drake has had a presentational component of some kind, as such, I have had the opportunity to practice. But I struggle to give presentations in English so giving them in Spanish is that much more difficult. In my first Spanish class, the most I could do was read off a notecard. Now, in my film Spanish class, I am able to make points about the film Roma and how the title is a clever way of bringing out the theme of Love. Moreover, I can say that I honestly try. I know that this is an area that I will constantly have to work on.

Writing

Writing in Spanish is always a struggle, I understand the grammar but like in English forget to employ it. However, I think it is the skill in which I have improved. All of my Spanish classes at Drake have had me write, some more than others, in the last few classes I took I have always had to write one to three-page papers to demonstrate my growing competency. Through my experience at Drake, I have had multiple opportunities to speak about readings within classes and then write about my own analysis of the work. I have also been able to write about my knowledge outside of the class and bring in ideas that are important to me. Thereby growing my vocabulary and expanding my knowledge of what these ideas mean to the culture. My writing skills have grown and while they still need work, all writing is a work in progress.

Culture

Every time I come into contact with a different dialect of Spanish or a different country’s history I understand the world around me a bit more. My Spanish classes at Drake, especially my film class, have enabled me to come into contact with the variety of cultures that in turn make up a country. For example, learning about the differences in hitchhiking in Guatemala versus hitchhiking in the United States made for a vastly different viewing of Distancia. Or another example is learning about the new immigrants of Argentina and how that impacts the country before viewing Un Cuento Chino. And yet these experiences come second to my hands on experience during my J-term in Mexico. Actually having the opportunity to be in a country where you are learning the language makes for such a difference. I gained a cultural competence that I would not otherwise have. It makes me question my own judgments when learning about the history of a country; it allows me to go further in my search for the impacts a society’s past has on its people.