The following is a complete set of instructions and materials for a capstone project for a Spanish for Heritage Speakers class. The project consists of conducting a carefully planned interview in Spanish with a family or community member about their immigration story. Students prepare appropriate questions and find background information about the historical, political, economic and cultural conditions in the country of origin of the interviewee. They record the interview and upload it to the StoryCorps Archive platform that is housed by the Library of Congress. Then, they listen to their own interview, and write up a three-page immigration story about the interviewee, combining the background information researched and the stories and words of the interviewee.
This project builds on a series of readings about immigration and class discussions about immigrant experiences and identities explored throughout the semester. Students are asked to turn the focus inward, to their own families or community members, as an opportunity to learn more about themselves through thoughtful questions, relevant research, and careful listening. Students who completed the project in my classes reported that it was the most meaningful and impactful assignment of the semester. They were excited to have a tangible product to share with their family members and to treasure for a lifetime.
The capstone project involves all the skills developed in a language class: reading, writing, listening, speaking and culture. In what follows, a complete set of instructions and materials are provided in Spanish. This project should be implemented over the course of various weeks, with time for each step to be completed and thoughtful feedback given to the student. The platform that is used is the free StoryCorps mobile app, that students can easily access and use.
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