Listening comprehension is one of the hardest skills to develop in a foreign language. Many students find the audio activities available through textbook publications artificial and contrived, and very few students have the opportunity to travel to Spanish-speaking countries. By videotaping and interviewing native Spanish speakers in the local Edmonton area, digitizing these videos, and making them available through this website, the project team proposes to provide an increased number of opportunities for students to improve their listening skills and gain familiarity with a wider range of accents found in the Spanish-speaking world.TRANSLATION AND COMMUNITY:
Over the course of the summer of 2011, Chris Schafenacker conducted a total of 18 interviews with Hispanic immigrants from at least 10 different countries. These interviews were also transcribed into Spanish, translated into English, and subtitled to provide greater access to the touching stories and personal narratives. Besides being an excellent pedagogical tool and rich translation project, the insights gained will also contribute to discourse concerning the immigrant experience in Canada.
In the fall of 2011, students in Dr. De León's translation course (SPAN 405) will be conducting similar interviews with members of Edmonton's Hispanic community, thus contributing to an ongoing archive and rich translation project.
This project is grateful for the generous support received from the University of Alberta's Roger S. Smith Undergraduate Research Award, the encouragement and guidance received from Lorraine Woollard at the Community Service-Learning (CSL), and the ongoing partnership with the Edmonton Immigrant Services Association (EISA) via their volunteer coordinator, Alex Caldararu.