Students learn about Spanish culture with food

Sydney Olishile

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Emily Reyes having fun tasting Spanish dishes.

Emily Reyes having fun tasting Spanish dishes.

Instead of a traditional oral exam, students in Dr. Hilker’s Spanish classes prepared a number of dishes to learn about Spanish culture and other regions in South and Central America.

“This activity was my favorite so far,” sophomore Emily Reyes said. “It was really fun to taste all the different foods and learn more.”

Students were required to pick a dish from a region, prepare a PowerPoint presentation demonstrating their understanding of the country’s culture, and incorporate lessons they have learned in class. Students were also given the opportunity to prepare a Spanish dish of their own.

“The hardest part is trying to translate English to Spanish. People think it’s really easy, but making it sound grammatically correct is a hard task,” Reyes said.

Dr. Hilker said she originally came up with this lesson because she wanted her students to appreciate other cultures. In addition, having to research about different Spanish-speaking countries allows students to learn a little more from the vast Hispanic world.

“You learn about the ingredients that they use, how is their food prepared, and what is the meaning of this meal,” Hilker said. “You then are able to compare their culture with yours and hopefully you will find that there are more similarities than differences.”

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