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Hera's teaching portfolio 2005

How did I develop this course?
My Educational Philosophy
My Resume
ACTFL National Standards
Lesson Plans
Contact Me!

*Here at the University of Massachusetts, I learned that a good course should be customized for it's students. A good teacher will get to know the needs of their students and adapt to them. If "teaching is about people and passion", where does a teacher start when developing a course? Well, for this Spanish 125 course, I started with the needs of  students in a study abroad program. The program is set up so that each student is given a proficiency test to place them in a specific level class (to fulfill their 'subjective' needs), and once they arrive to class, they fill out "information sheets" including a section where they briefly state there expectations and desires for the course (to fulfill their 'objective'  needs). 
Here you can view the "needs assessment" questionnaire that can be given to the students at the beginning of the semester. Also, check out some of the other things I took into account, such as my "resources and constraints" where I define the givens of the situation, the programs policies for the students, textbook, etc.

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Fall 2003
Student Information Sheet
Please fill out and return to instructor
Name: _____________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________
Local Address:_______________________________________________
House Phone:____________________  Cell Phone: __________________
Hometown: _________________________________________________
Do you have any foreign language experience?______________________
Reasons for studying abroad?____________________________________
Reasons for taking this course?___________________________________
Do you know any Spanish speaker?______________________________
Does someone in your home speak Spanish?_______ If yes, what is your   
relation to that person?_________________________________________
Did you take Spanish in High School?__________ If yes, what levels did
you complete?_______________________________________________
What specific things would you like to learn in this
course? ___________________________________________________
Is there anything you'd like to share about yourself? (specific goals,
hobbies, places you've traveled, interests, ways you like to learn,
etc? _______________________________________________________

Spanish125 permits 25 students.
Average time spent on course: Average of six (6) hours per week.
Textbook: "Para Empezar"   Rating: 9
Workbook: "Para Empezar Workbook"  Rating: 9
Comments on Textbook: ______________________________
Institutions Policies/Constraints:_no more than three (3)
unexcused absences; students grades based on performance
of exams; four (4) cultural visits required throughout semester;
lack of computers; slow internet._____________________
COMMENTS: discuss syllabus and grading policy in detail
with students, and make them aware of the attendance and
grading policies.  Cultural visits can also be used for essays. 
If students complain of lack of computers maybe they can
hand in neatly hand-written essays? BE SURE TO REVIEW
student information sheets to develop lesson plans__________