The University of Vermont

Living/Learning Center Programs

http://www.uvm.edu/llcenter/

 

 

La Casa Hispánica

 

 

La Casa Hispánica is a dynamic program designed for students in our Spanish program or who have studied abroad and are interested in reinforcing their knowledge of Hispanic language and cultures. Members of the program will participate in a variety of events focusing on Hispanic themes, including dinners, shows, movies and attending "Tertulia" (an informal hour of Spanish conversation). We also sponsor a variety of activities including Lectures, Film Series and the Annual Hispanic Forum that are open to the greater Burlington community. By participating in the program, members will have a great opportunity to improve their language skills while living in a supportive environment.  Members of La Casa Hispánica are required to have a minimum proficiency in the Spanish Language since it is expected that Spanish will be spoken in the program suites.  Casa Hispánica residents receive one Language House credit each Fall semester for participation in  program activities, and are expected to be enrolled in a Spanish course at UVM while living in the suite.

 

 

DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

 

The primary purpose of La Casa Hispánica is to facilitate the contact with Hispanic cultures and to practice and improve the Spanish language. In order to fulfill these goals there are three main sets of interrelated activities:

 

I. In‑House Activities: Students live in a suite at the Living/Learning Center, where they are encouraged to help plan and to participate in program events.  During Fall semester, for which students receive one Language House academic credit, these events typically involve greater coordination with the Faculty Program Director, while the Casa Hispánica's Student Director becomes primary coordinator of Spring term events. These activities often include special dinners, discussion of movies, and pizza or ice‑cream meetings where members discuss new ways to achieve the learning experience of the Hispanic cultures. Members are encouraged to speak Spanish at all times. The student director is responsible for maintaining the use of the Spanish language in the suite.

 

II. Out‑of‑House‑Activities: One of the activities outside the dormitory is the "Tertulia," an informal hour of Spanish conversation that takes place at Billings Cafeteria, every Monday at 5:00 p.m. "Tertulias" are open to everybody interested in speaking Spanish in an informal setting. This gives the opportunity to members of the community to come and participate, occasionally bringing "tapas" or appetizers to spice up the conversation. Other Out-of-House-Activities include the participation in current cultural and social events such as attending meetings and performances. Events in the past have included experiencing Spanish Flamenco culture at the Flynn, visiting Art exhibits, and attending recently released films related to Hispanic themes.

 

Additionally, Casa Hispánica has acted as a principal coordinator and sponsor of several activities such as lectures from prominent Hispanic authors, the presentation of Movie Series, and the very successful Annual Hispanic Forum which Casa Hispánica helped to establish back in 1993.  Casa Hispánica plans to continue organizing events that create an atmosphere where Hispanic issues are introduced and discussed among the UVM community and beyond.

 

III. One-Credit-Course: Casa Hispánica residents receive one academic credit each Fall semester.   The requirements to obtain this credit are worked out with the Faculty Program Director, and have included in the past the following criteria:

 

1.                  Attend all dinners taking place at Restaurant “The Marché” (L/L) every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. A number of guests are invited to share their knowledge with students of la Casa. The conversations are conducted in Spanish. It is expected lively participation in the target language.

 

2.                  Attend a minimum of two movies from the “Spanish/Latin/o American Film Series” (Mondays/Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. 427 Waterman).

 

3.                  Attend a minimum of two Tertulias (Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. Billings Cafeteria).

 

4.                  Attend a minimum of two presentations from a series of lectures taking place over the semester. 

 

5.                  Attend another activity related to Hispanic Culture during the semester, of free choice.

 

Dinners with invited guests in particular have proven successful events.  At these dinners students are exposed to a variety of Hispanic themes given by experts in the field willing to interact with students in an informal setting. A given topic is presented in advance so students prepare the material prior to the meeting. Topics that have been discussed in the past have included “Latin American Women in Literature and the Arts;” “Globalization in Latin America;” “Poetry in Honduras” (presented by the Honduran National Poet Roberto Sosa); “Latino/Latina Writings;” “Popular Songs from Spain.” Students greatly enjoy these dinners and emphasize in particular the great opportunity for interacting with different guests, many of them teachers and professors from the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Vermont who look forward to these informal opportunities to share their experiences with students.

 

 

ACTION STEPS

 

  • Members of Casa Hispánica are required to have a minimum level of prior knowledge of the Spanish Language to be able to interact in Spanish with their peers and are asked to enroll in a Spanish course while living in the suite.
  • Spanish Languages will be spoken at all times in the suite, overseen by the Student Director.
  • Any activity related to the program will be conducted in Spanish.
  • Members of Casa Hispánica are encouraged to participate in the events organized by Casa Hispánica and also to participate in community events that we are invited to.  Suite residents will receive one academic credit each Fall semester for their participation in these activities.
  • Members are an integral part of Casa Hispánica and are encouraged to collaborate with the Student and Faculty Directors in the shaping of the program.

 

 

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