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The MLL Department worked for the first time using Digital Stories with Spanish 305 for Heritage Spanish Speakers during fall 2008. This course is an advanced Spanish course for Latino students at UMBC (3-credit course) taught by Dr. Ana María Schwartz and Adriana Val as Tech Assistant.
The goal of this class is to connect the students with their Spanish heritage language and culture, as well as to prepare them to be competent bilinguals who can use Spanish for academic and professional purposes. Students participated in face-to-face as well as online projects to improve their oral, writing as well as technical uses of the Spanish language.
One of the projects designed by Dr. Schwartz was the use of Digital Stories. Students worked during the semester choosing their own topics, writing narratives, collecting photographs, and finding appropriate music to accompany their verbal narration. All students participated in peer-review in class, reflected with instructors and classmates about their narratives, and worked in the computer lab under the assistance of Ms. Val, personnel from the IMC such as Ms. Joan Costello, and video experts from the New Media Studio at UMBC. The product of this powerful work is the collection of the first digital stories from the first Heritage Spanish speakers who work intensively to share their personal stories.