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Andrew Hiben

Education Apocalypse
Education Apocalypse

Make-up assignments

Interpersonal Communication

Prove that you have interacted with Spanish and/or hispanic, latino or chicano culture in some way for at least 40 minutes.

The following list is not exhaustive:

  • Read or watch the news
  • Listen to a song
  • Watch a novella or a film
  • Read a book
  • Have a conversation with someone who speaks Spanish
  • Co-create a story with a peer
  • Carry-on a text-message based conversation

Your assignment should meet or exceed standards; points will be awarded accordingly. Merely completing the assignment does not guarantee full credit.

This assignment must be completed within a reasonable time frame.




  1. Select an audio source for which the text or transcription is not available online, and record the spoken text into an audio recorder. The resulting text must be  about three-quarters to one-page of text. The following suggestions is not an exhaustive list.
    • News​​
    • Radio
    • Telanovela
    • Podcast
  2. Listen to the recording to transcribe the text that you selected. Using a word processor with the Spanish spell-check function enabled will facilitate the process. You may need to use an online dictionary like to verify words that you hear. 
  3. ​Include and attach the source, appropriately cited in MLA or APA format. Double space the document and use a professional/legible font-type.​
  4. Academic honesty is implored.

Your assignment will be scored as if it were an in-class diction. Merely completing the assignment does not guarantee full credit. 

This assignment must be completed within a reasonable time frame.



Select listening, reading, writing quizzes may be retaken

Within two-weeks of the return date of a select quizzes, those assessments are eligible for a retake to demonstrate mastery.

Principles of Language Acquisition

The following summaries are paraphrased from Dr. Bill VanPatten, an expert in Second Language Acquisition. 


1. Language is too complex and too abstract to learn through rules.

Learning a series of rules does is not the same thing as acquiring language subconsciously. As we hear and process comprehensible input, we begin to develop a mental representation of our target language.

Language is not subject matter. It cannot be taught like science or literature can. Therefore, I am not a language teacher, I am just a more proficient model.


2.Communication is the expression, interpretation and negotiation of meaning in a given context.

What is our context? It is a classroom, nothing more, nothing less. There are clearly defined roles of teacher and student. We will create a communicative environment, which will prepare you to interact in an authentic context.

Communication can be as simple as an eyebrow raise because that can indicate surprise while scrunching the eyes indicates that something doesn't quite make sense.


3.There are internal and external factors that constrain the acquisition of language.

Each person is different. Each person has different cognitive factors (things going on in the brain like attention, memory, and reasoning). Each person has different likes and dislikes. Each person has different motivations. Some people just don't care. Each person progresses at his own pace. Some people never progress through a certain stage. Most will never become native-like, which is fine because you aren't a native speaker.


Guess what: errors don't exist either. What you produce is an example of your current mental representation of the target language.


The only thing that the "teacher" can control is the quantity and quality of the input--the language you are exposed to.


4. The role of the "teacher" is to provide appropriate-level input and interaction.

The "teacher" must have realistic expectations of what his students can handle. He must ensure that the input is comprehensible and that the task that comes as a result matches the ability of the language learner.



5. Tasks should be the backbone of the language class.

 Language is not a subject to study like chemistry, mathematics, or literature. We can learn about things using the language as a vehicle. Through that comprehensible use of language you will start to create that complex data set that causes for acquisition.


So then, if language is not subject matter, we must attempt to use language for a communicative purpose.

Dr. Bill VanPatten
Dr. Bill VanPatten