Vistas mexicanas- Mexican Perspectives

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Teacher: Ben Einsidler
Extra Help: Tuesdays from 3:00 to 4:00, room 245 or by appointment.

Course Overview

In this course, students will study our nearest Spanish speaking neighbor: México. Students will simultaneously expand their grammar and vocabulary while studying varied topics pertaining to this engrossing and fascinating country, including (among others) the Mexican-American war, immigration, the fine arts, the recent crisis of drug violence, and the changing role of women. Students will do a mixture of reading, watching brief films and writing about what they learn, as well as having numerous in-class discussions and debates. Elements of the OLA and Rassias language immersion methods will be used to communicate class material mostly in Spanish, although English may be used to clarify certain points.

"México- The Place You Thought You Knew"- Mexico Tourism Board

Assessment Strands

Conversation (25%). Examples could include:

  • Formal and informal discussions with teacher or peers

  • Focused “simulations” with peers in which students must complete a communicative task

  • Email correspondence in Spanish

Interpretation (25%). Examples could include:

  • Listening to a Spanish conversation and answering comprehension questions

  • Reading a short story or poem in Spanish and answering comprehension questions

  • Following printed or spoken directions to create a drawing or map

Presentation (25%). Examples could include:

  • Writing and performing a skit

  • Memorizing and reciting a poem in Spanish

  • Writing and sharing longer compositions

Work Habits (25%). The work habits grade represents the habits and practices that make an effective Spanish student. These include:

  • Participation in prácticas and other class activities

  • Speaking in Spanish in class

  • Completion of homework

  • Studying vocabulary and grammar

  • Timely completion of all steps on major projects

  • Persistence and good humor in challenging situations (interpretation assessments, conversations, etc.)


Students taking this class for Honors credit will have to complete additional work related to each project. In addition, Honors students will occasionally have to complete more in-depth work on homework assignments, including oral homework. Honors students are also expected to contribute regularly to class discussions and consistently maintain a high level of work habits.


If you miss class due to illness, a doctor’s appointment, or any other reason, it is your responsibility to email the instructor to see if you have missed any important work and find out if you have homework (see below for email policy).Extensions will not be granted if a student fails to comply with this policy.


You may email the instructor at at any time should you have any questions about your grade or our course material. Emails will receive a response within one school day. However, emails that lack an appropriate heading and closing, and/or have not been checked for spelling, will not warrant a response.

Students can read the full syllabus, including our tentative weekly schedule, here. Be advised that the weekly schedule is subject to change.