TRANSPORTATION IN MADRID
This transportation unit serves to familiarize students with the many forms of transportation available in Madrid, Spain. I thought this unit had considerable value considering our current location, and that many foreign language students throughout the state of Iowa are not familiar with urban culture and may be traveling abroad or to eventually to another city from a relatively rural community.
An overwhelming number of foreign language students in my area are on the college track, taking courses that will eventually qualify them for admission to colleges and universities throughout the state and country. It is my hope that this until will familiarize them with many methods of public transportation, while also exposing them to the cultural norms and facets of transportation available to the public in Spain’s capital city.
From what I have observed in high schools, travel is a hot topic. If students continue taking classes at the high school level, many programs will offer a senior trip to a foreign Spanish-speaking country. Of course, these trips are generally quite pricey, and a lot of the financial burden relies on the students. As a future Spanish teacher, I hope to one day have the opportunity to travel with my Spanish class to a number of different countries. I believe it will be my responsibility to expose students to what they would expect when traveling to that region, regarding routines and rituals widely and universally accepted bythat specific culture. By introducing students to the many forms of transportation, I hope to engage students by using technology to immerse them in the culture, and allow them to explore and discuss their observations.
The purpose of this unit is not only to give them a topic they are excited to learn about, but also to provide them a means to compare their own experiences with another cultural perspective. This unit can also be adapted to examine the modes of transportation for a variety of Spanish-speaking countries and give students an opportunity to consider what traveling or eventually living in that culture would be like: how would they use these modes of transportation and how would their perspectives change?
The lessons in this unit are listed in order below:
1. IN THE HOTEL. NOW WHAT?
2. ASKING AND GIVING DIRECTIONS
3. INTRODUCING: THE MADRID METRO
4. NAVIGATING THE MADRID METRO
5. GETTING AROUND ABOVE THE GROUND
6. DESIGN AN AD
And now a disclaimer of sorts: this unit is designed with the understanding that the students are already familiar certain vocabulary. Because this unit caters to a more advanced Spanish foreign language classroom, the students should already be acquainted with and tested over vocabulary pertaining to: pleasantries, colors and numbers, special prepositions, and vocabulary pertaining to travel and vacation. I have set these parameters after consulting the textbook my studentsare currently using (Blanco & Donley 2008).