Project Title                                                ¡Compre americano! ~
                                                          Teenage Advertising Language

Contact Person/s                                      Lauren King, Spanish Christopher Lawlor,
                                                      Business, Lynne Burke, Library/Media
                                                      CRANSTON WEST HIGH SCHOOL, 80
                                                      Metropolitan Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920
                                                      (USA), Tel.: 401.785.8049
Class/Grade levels                                    Spanish 4 and Business Management (grades
                                                      11 or 12)
Timeline                                              Spring Semester: 1/29/03-5/23/03 (There is a
                                                      2-week recess, one in Feb. and one in April.)
                                                      Traditionally, our role as a teacher has been, to
                                                      a large extent, delivering content. Most of the
                                                      time, reality has been organized into
                                                      paragraphs, pages, chapters, books. With
                                                      “Compre americano”, of course, the questions
                                                      are many and the project is being written as it
                                                      unfolds. The data produced by students varies
                                                      and is enriched from week to week, making the
                                                      process of interpretation and analysis itself the
Purpose                                               focus of the class. We believe that cultural
                                                      literacy can not be reduced to the idea of a
                                                      product or list of items, but must be seen as an
                                                      ongoing dynamic process of negotiating
                                                      meaning and understanding differences of
                                                      perspective. Furthermore, cultural literacy
                                                      needs to be grounded in an understanding of
                                                      embedded cultural concepts, customs, beliefs,
                                                      attitudes, and ways of interacting and looking
                                                      at the world.

Lauren King,, Cranston West High School
Project Overview                                      A Web-based, cross-cultural, curricular
                                                      initiative, “Compre americano” is designed to
                                                      develop Business and Spanish language
                                                      students' understanding of foreign cultural
                                                      attitudes, concepts, beliefs, and ways of
                                                      interacting and looking at the business world.
                                                      Our focus will be on the pedagogy of
                                                      electronic media (Inspiration software,
                                                      syncronous communication via email and
                                                      listserv, videotaping) with particular emphasis
                                                      on the ways in which the Web can be used to
                                                      reveal those invisible aspects of a foreign
                                                      culture, thereby giving a voice to the elusive
                                                      silent language in advertising. This will
                                                      empower students to construct their own
                                                      approach to cross-cultural literacy. We
                                                      examine these new areas of cultural knowledge
                                                      which the Web now renders accessible and
                                                      attempt to redefine the meaning of “world
                                                      language teaching" in the new world of
                                                      networked communication. We hope to
                                                      conduct two (2) videoconferences with the
                                                      Spanish school. Also, videoconferencing will
                                                      be conducted with North Providence High
                                                      School (Patricia King’s Business class) who
                                                      are working on a similar market research
                                                      project. The purpose will be to share ideas,
                                                      community business resources and practice
Goals                                                 To provide authenticity [real talk, attitudes,
                                                      opinions] about teen culture in both America
                                                      and Spain; To be acquainted with teens
                                                      abroad; To enhance one’s marketability with a
                                                      cutting edge understanding of the international
                                                      business world; To be open and understand a
                                                      cross cultural viewpoint of another community;
                                                      To have student to student accountability; To
                                                      prepare oneself for future editing and
                                                      presentation skills; To market an American
                                                      product that Spanish teens will use.

Lauren King,, Cranston West High School
Standards                                             World Language (9-12) The language student
                                                      will learn~
                                                      St. 1: Communication- Demonstrate skills for
                                                      communicating in an international pluralistic
                                                      business environment, via email, class
                                                      conferences, Socratic Seminars and
                                                      St. 2: Cultures- Gain knowledge and
                                                      understanding of the relationship between
                                                      language and culture by exploring the business
                                                      world of another culture and the external
                                                      events and forces which affect business;
                                                      Recognize the social, religious, and political
                                                      influences of both cultures.
                                                      St. 3: Connections- Further one’s knowledge
                                                      of the area of international business through
                                                      teamwork and demonstrating the ability to
                                                      work with others in a diverse and global
                                                      environment; acquire information and
                                                      perspectives that are available only through the
                                                      Spanish culture; Reinforce knowledge about
                                                      the role of Spain in the world of international
                                                      relations, the UN and in the global economy.
                                                      St. 4: Comparisons- Develop insight into the
                                                      different patterns of communication among
                                                      Spanish teens and American teens; compare
                                                      and contrast teen culture and issues in America
                                                      and in Spain.
                                                      St. 5: Communities- Translate, speak and
                                                      interpret Spanish in a pluralistic society;
                                                      demonstrate leadership skills by working with
                                                      others; learn how to prioritize work to fulfill
                                                      responsibilities, meet deadlines, and to utilize
                                                      negotiation skills.

                                                      Other Standards addressed:
                                                      National Business Education
                                                      ISTE (Technology)
                                                      Applied Learning
                                                      Information Literacy

Lauren King,, Cranston West High School
Tasks                                                 All throughout the project, students work both
                                                      on their own, outside the classroom, and as a
                                                      group in class. Outside the classroom, they fill
                                                      out questionnaires, ask and answer specific
                                                      questions on the forum, email their teen
                                                      partners abroad, read their counterparts'
                                                      comments, select and analyze answers, record
                                                      their analyses on their Learning Log. Students
                                                      will be able to dialogue in forums called,
                                                      “Socratic Seminars”, enabling them to speak in
                                                      the target language about their analyses and
                                                      interweave both the facts and cultural pieces of
                                                      the project. During the research days in the
                                                      media center, student directors summarize the
                                                      discoveries made that day in class and post
                                                      them on the videoconferencing listserv. Class
                                                      discussions are a very important part of the
                                                      process. They allow students to share (in the
                                                      target language) their observations with each
                                                      other, to confront their findings with those of
                                                      the other students in the class. This sharing of
                                                      information also allows students to discover
                                                      things they had not noticed individually, for
                                                      the simple reason that they had not analyzed
                                                      every single situation. Classroom interaction
                                                      therefore allows them to discover emerging
                                                      patterns across several reactions or even across
                                                      all journals and to find links between cultural
                                                      reactions. Students are thus positioned to
                                                      collaboratively create a broader picture of the
                                                      target culture teen community. Class
                                                      discussions (always in the target language) also
                                                      allow contradictions to emerge, and these
                                                      contradictions motivate students to work
                                                      toward solutions.
The Forums to discuss research                        The process of discovery will begin when
                                                      students analyze materials on their own. It will
                                                      continue when they share their observations
                                                      during class discussions, and extend yet again
                                                      through the forums in which the Business and
                                                      Spanish students share their perspectives with
                                                      each other. We have found that these forums
                                                      are particularly apt at taking students a step
                                                      further in their quest for a deeper
                                                      understanding. We will teach students to use
                                                      the “Big Six Skills Approach to Information
                                                      Problem Solving”. Through real world
Lauren King,, Cranston West High School
                                                      questioning, students will: ask for clarification
                                                      and query each other (and the Spanish teens)
                                                      about the specific meanings of Spanish words
                                                      and synthesize their market research,
                                                      discovering how to market a product to their
                                                      Spanish partners. (authenticity)
Assessment                                            Self-, peer- and teacher assessment
                                                      A “Collaboration Rubric” will be used weekly
                                                      for both self- and peer-assessments. A
                                                      “Presentation Rubric” will be used to evaluate
                                                      student presentations at the videoconference.
                                                      Learning logs (journals) will be maintained on
                                                      a weekly basis in order that students record
                                                      questions, reflections and can begin the
                                                      synthesis stage of information problem
                                                      solving. Pre-reading, and essay writing will be
                                                      the focus for each conference.
Evaluation/Student Reflection                         Journal reflections (learning logs); Weekly
                                                      summaries posted to the listserv; Questions
                                                      posted to the listserv.
Resources                                             Bryant College, ITDN (International Trade
                                                      Data Network Database), Search Engines
                                                      (google, yahoo, askjeeves, northernlight),
                                                      business journals (Business Week, Wall Street
                                                      Journal), Books on the country, Spain, and web
                                                      sites, The Spanish Stock Exchange, business
                                                      professionals in the field; Spanish teens at a
                                                      high school in Madrid, Spain, local advertising
                                                      consultants from Rhode Island businesses,
                                                      Business teen peers from North Providence
                                                      High School (Mrs. Patricia King’s class)
Testimonial                                           Not being able to videoconference with Spain
                                                      had a huge impact on the students. Why is
                                                      videoconferencing a valued part of the
                                                      Students never experienced a live interactive
                                                      email exchange with the Spanish subjects
                                                      abroad. Furthermore, we did not consult local
                                                      bilingual business professionals (interviews)
                                                      who may have been able to shed light on our
                                                      product’s impact in the Spanish culture.
                                                      View the website from last year’s in-house
                                                      presentation of CHILLZ lemonade

Lauren King,, Cranston West High School
Lauren King,, Cranston West High School

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