College - Author 1
College of Liberal Arts
Department - Author 1
World Languages and Cultures Department
Degree Name - Author 1
BA in Modern Languages and Literatures
Karen Muñoz-Christian, College of Liberal Arts, World Languages & Cultures
This project attempts to showcase a method for improving conversational language skills by having weekly sessions over the phone or by videoconference. A fellow Cal Poly student and I spoke over the phone for a number of weeks in Spanish during the course of Spring Quarter 2020 with the goal of bettering her overall language skills and gaining proficiency in aspects such as grammar, vocabulary acquisition, and sentence structure. We took on this project with hopes of mutually helping each other gain a better understanding of each other's cultural backgrounds and thus utilizing that to enrich our conversations. From the very first conversation we had to the last one for this project, there was mutual enthusiasm and determination to keep learning and improving therefore our conversations always flowed in a smooth manner and any questions that arose regarding vocabulary were answered to the best of my ability. We discussed a variety of topics including educational goals and interests, personal background, family, travel, career goals, music and other topics that popped up along the way. The structure of the actual project was very flexible, meaning that I did not have topics ready beforehand because I wanted Lory to feel comfortable and not pressured in any way to speak about things that maybe she didn't know or care about. I chose to guide the conversations with questions and express myself genuine interest and curiosity to create an informal feel to the conversation and allow for it to flow easily. Occasionally, I asked her to summarize what she thought about the movies I introduced to her and to recount specific scenes of those movies to help stimulate some grammatical concepts that she has learned in some of her Spanish classes.