||Mi clase preferida: Hispanic Children's Literature
An interview with junior Kate Young, a double major in Spanish and psychology from Shelbyville, Ky.
RELEASED: March 17, 2005
DANVILLE, KYClass: Hispanic Children's Literature (Spanish 455)
Class size: 23
Professor: Genny Ballard, assistant professor of Spanish
Day/Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10:20-11:20
What makes this class interesting?
This class is different from anything I've studied before in terms of Spanish classes, which tend to focus more on writing, grammar and speaking. We use Spanish in a new and different way with children's books and illustrations. Reading children's books as adults brings out a lot of complexities that you didn't see when you were small.
What have you learned this term?
A group does a presentation each day on a book, and then we'll get into small groups and discuss the themes and illustrations. I've learned that children's books go a lot deeper than the moral or the ending. We're discovering how the books reflect the values of society and what the publishers' ideas are of what children should be reading and what they should know.
I understand there is a service-learning aspect to the class; tell us about that experience.
I love it. I've been doing service-learning for two years now. I go once a week to Junction City Elementary and tutor five Hispanic students in first through third grades during the after-school program. They all speak English but need extra help relating what they are learning in class to what they know in Spanish. The students get attached to you and miss you when you don't get to come. They really like all of the student volunteers from Centre.
What do you feel you'll take away from this course?
This best part is yet to come. We're going to start reading books to children in the community. I think it will be interesting to see the reactions of the children compared to ours as adults.
Would you recommend this class to fellow students?
Yes, definitely. It's just something that's different from the rest of your classes. You're able to improve your Spanish skills and critical thinking skills and apply them to a new area. It's really interesting and a nice break from the rest of your classes.
What the professor says:
"I have the firm belief that children's literature should be studied as literature," says Genny Ballard, assistant professor of Spanish at Centre. "Through this class students have noted the intersections between literature for adults and literature for children. I have been so impressed by their observations about class, culture and gender as it is presented in the texts we have seen so far."
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