Since we general education language courses at a liberal arts college, we hope to make a Spanish textbook that reflects our liberal arts values, including the institutions’ priority of fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. The recent meetings and workshops on our campus focusing on these issues have encouraged me to think about how our Spanish textbook can reflect these values.
Although in a draft form, we are pondering the following mission:
Mission: Our text is an open educational, content-forward resource for first-semester students of Spanish that seeks to foster an appreciation of the Spanish-speaking world and contributions of Latinos to American society while developing novice-mid proficiency in productive skills and novice-high proficiency in receptive skills.
An “appreciation of the Spanish-speaking world” is multifaceted because it requires an understanding of the diverse individuals, groups, and ideas that have shaped society. To appreciate starts with identifying the contributions of others, then recognizing their value. Knowing the value of those who are different from us can be difficult especially when we don’t or can’t recognize their contributions. For this reason, students will learn about Spanish-speaking individuals and groups with diverse cultural identities.
On the one hand, I am excited about this project, on the other hand, it will take time to create a text that genuinely fosters the values of the liberal arts and facilitate students’ language acquisition.