chapter  12
15 Pages

A Look at CBI in Action: An Exploratory Journey into the Arts and History in the Foreign Language Classroom

ByNancy Hagstrom

I have always loved learning languages. I was the student who, despite having a rather droll, textbook, grammatically driven high school language experience, tried to translate into Spanish every sign, shampoo bottle, and advertisement that I saw. In high school I was consistently awarded the end of the year Spanish award, but was then confounded when I was unable to orally communicate to teachers, peers, and visiting native speakers. Though I sensed that learning languages held a greater power than what I was experiencing, I dropped Spanish class as soon as my language graduation requirement was fulfilled. What I didn’t know then is that what I was missing was a content-rich language learning environment, which would have helped me engage in the language in an authentic way and thus would have motivated me to utilize my emerging and developing communicative sills.