ABI Faculty Development Program Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter
Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter

Latinx Autoethnography

Class information

SPAN 105 – Elementary Spanish I for Heritage Speakers

25-30 students

Spanish 105 is the first course in the sequence of Spanish for Heritage Speakers. Students practice reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary, and grammar. Readings and discussions focus on the art, literature, and history of Latinx and Spanish-speaking people in the US and Latin America.

Project overview

Latinx Autoethnography is a scaffolding project about the Latinx experience in the United States. Students in my SPAN 105 course write, research, and conduct interviews to  learn about their own families’ experience in the US. Their final project consists of a written essay that combines the material we learned in class, with a reflection of their own identities as Latinx living in the US.

Why did you select this project? How does it relate to identity and purpose?

This project seeks to empower Spanish-speaking students who take SPAN 105 (Spanish I for Heritage Speakers). In implementing this assignment, students learn that their histories are equally important as the mainstream histories that they study in the college classroom. They research their own pasts, conduct interviews, and interpret their own lives. During this process, they will become active historical agents. I try to incorporate identity and purpose into my teaching by providing a student-centered learning environment. I hope that this assignment allows students to reflect on their racial, cultural, and linguistic background, and their sense of purpose in higher education.c

What advice do you have for other faculty who would like to implement a similar project?

It is important to distribute different assignments throughout the semester. The final essay is comprised by several written and oral assignments that students worked on for weeks.

Related materials

I have shared the syllabus in pdf format (originally a Padlet). All instructional materials are in Spanish. For a detailed description of the project in English, please see the YouTube video below.

Project HCAP BMCC Hernández-Ojeda

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