AP Spanish students conduct interviews with native speakers in our community.
It started in the classroom. Students in Molly Perry’s AP Spanish course researched prominent Spanish-speakers—“Los Heroes Hispanos”—and then posed as their research subjects during mock interviews with peers who were tasked with composing a profile from the information they gathered. With that under their belts, they all moved onto the real thing—sitting down to interview native Spanish-speakers who live and work in the Thacher community.
After they got to know these real-life interview subjects, they, too, wrote a summary of what they’d learned. These profiles were exhibited in the Commons, allowing the rest of the community to learn a little bit more about some of their own. Now, the profiles hang in Ms. Perry’s classroom.
Most of all, this project allowed students to truly test and challenge their abilities in a context that more closely reflected real-life experiences, where they might need to clearly and effectively communicate with a native speaker, accents and speech quirks included.
“This project was definitely one of my favorites this year in Spanish,” said Nicole Bassolino ’18. “We don’t always get to practice with native speakers and this was a fun way to challenge ourselves. It was also really cool to hear each individual’s story, how they got to Thacher, what hobbies they enjoy, their family life.”
John Geyer ’18 agreed that it was both an interesting challenge and a rewarding opportunity to connect in a different way with someone in the community. “This project was intriguing because it allowed us to connect with members of our own community, only through a different language,” he said. “Interviewing in Spanish is difficult because the language had to be utilized both to ask simple questions and to connect with the other person, a completely unscripted variable that added another dimension to the conversation. At first, conducting the interview was tricky, but once both sides got into it, the conversation found its flow and it was a gratifying experience.”
“For me, the coolest thing was learning about how Ismael's passion for sculpture and his admiration for Michelangelo translated into his skill in making food and ice sculptures!” Nicole added of her conversation with Chef Ismael Martín, who helps run the Dining Hall on campus.