Spanish Cultures Through Film and Literature

byMaría Cardalliaguet Gómez-Málaga

"Spanish Cultures Through Film and Literature" is designed to expose Spanish I and II students to a multi-disciplinary unit that uses exceptional literary pieces and their filmic adaptations as vehicles to explore culture in context, since cultural understanding is crucial when learning a foreign language. Through this unit students will acquire a deep understanding of the history, literature, art and music of two Spanish speaking countries: Spain and Colombia. By doing so, students will also start thinking about global consciousness and the importance of embracing global understanding.

Students will learn to analyze films in order to understand them as works of art with a complex structure and many different layers of meaning and film techniques. My intention is that at the end of this curriculum unit students will be able to discern the difference between a shot and a scene, a flashback and a flashforward, voice-over and voice-off, mise-en-scéne and editing, etc.

Finally, This unit will also help me to implement the five-goal areas the National Standards of Foreign Language Learning called the Five C's of Foreign Language Education: communication, cultures, connections (among disciplines), comparisons (between cultures) and communities. My students will understand and interpret spoken and written language; they will demonstrate an understanding of the traditions, products (texts and films) and perspectives of the Spanish cultures; they will reinforce and expand their knowledge of other areas of study (literature and film studies) through Spanish, and they will be able to compare the textual sources and their adaptations to film.

The unit is recommended for Spanish students with a lower-intermediate level, but it could be used on upper level courses with proper modifications.

(Recommended for Spanish, grades 9-12.)


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