This past semester, I had the amazing opportunity to study in Sevilla, and while I was there, I was fortunate enough to be able to share some of my own culture with Spanish students. Shortly before the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I presented about the holiday to students in various levels of English classes. Since I was in Spain learning Spanish, it was interesting to be able to experience learning a language from the teaching perspective as well. I had a lot of fun with the students, and I also gained a new appreciation for what teachers do when they help students learn a new language. I hope that this will make me both a better student and teacher in my future language learning experiences.
In my presentation, I spoke about the history of Thanksgiving and current traditions that are part of the holiday. I told the students about the Puritan origins of Thanksgiving as well as the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who helped them survive their first winter in the New World. The students completed a word search and a crossword puzzle to help them learn the vocabulary. We all had some laughs when one of the word search words was “pie.” Language can get confusing when a word means a tasty dessert in English and a body part in Spanish! The students also enjoyed an opportunity to sing and dance along with a traditional American folk song, “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain.” It seemed that the students had a great time learning a little bit about American culture and the English language!