Forum to Explore “Growing Up in Two Cultures” ~11/17/2011 ~ 12p-2p

What is it like to grow up in two cultures in the Berkshires? Immigrants from four families will share their insights with service providers, educators, and community members on Thursday, November 17 from noon to 2 at the First Baptist Church, 88 South Street in Pittsfield.Forum to Explore “Growing Up in Two Cultures”

November 17, 2011 from 12 – 2
Sponsored by the Cross Cultural Action Network (CCAN), the forum is open to the public with opportunities for networking among more than 40 agencies that provide services to multicultural populations throughout the county. Light refreshments will be provided.

Among the panelists is Youlin Shi who first came to the U.S. on a student visa with her husband. When she realized she was pregnant, she made the decision to stay in this country so her daughter could enjoy the freedoms that she did not have growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution. “I wanted to stay in this country so I opened my mind to what was the best way to raise a child in this country. I wanted my daughter to be a part of this culture. I wanted her to have the best of both cultures.”

While Youlin represents a parental view, two children of immigrant parents will share what it was like to grow up in two worlds. Pamela Melendez, who recently became an American citizen, was born in Ecuador and came to the United States when she was 16 years old with her family. She works as an Administrative Assistant in the BRIDGE program. Maya Bahl was born in the United States of immigrant parents from India. She is presently a student at Berkshire Community College.

For younger immigrants, growing up in two cultures can often have an impact at school. To help other educators and agencies understand the challenges in a school setting, Claudia Ooley, who immigrated from Northern Ireland 7 years ago, will share her experience as an ESL teacher and ELE Coordinator for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District.

All of us as parents and daughters and sons will learn from hearing these stories about the challenges facing parents and children in immigrant families. What is most amazing is the universality of many of the issues. We can identify with parents, who want the best for their children and with children who want to develop their own identity. Attendees will be encouraged to join in this interesting discussion .

Attendees are asked to enter the church through the side entrance near the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. Allow time for traffic and parking as construction continues on South Street. Parking is available on South Street, at the Colonial Theater and south of Housatonic Street.

CCAN is an informal network of cross cultural individuals and organization that support immigrants and other minority groups in the Berkshires. The group is committed to making the Berkshires a welcoming community through events, advocacy and education. Sponsoring this month’s forum are the Adult Learning Center in Pittsfield, Berkshire Adult Literacy Committee, Berkshire Immigrant Center, Literacy Network of South Berkshire, and South Berkshire Educational Collaborative.

SPA 101 ~ Pasaportes y… ¡ *FIESTA* !

Download this document by clicking>>>Hoja con los temas de investigaciones culturales ~ Pasaportes ~ *FIESTA*
First: Research the six cultural topics from the list in the document for your own Segunda vida country.

Second:  Post this research in ENGLISH on your blog by November 16th, 5pm.

Third: Choose three countries from among those your classmates have chosen for their Segunda vida projects.

Fourth: Start learning the information they researched and posted on their blogs.  Have that information learned by November 21 (SPA 101.01) or November 22 (SPA 101.02).  We’ll have our Pasaportes activity on those days, in class.

Fifth: Create a passport for your own country.  Ask Profe to show you samples from previous years.

Sixth:  ¡¡ FIESTA !! …on 11/21 or 11/22    🙂

Investigaciones culturales ~ Pasaportes ~ ¡*FIESTA*!

Day of the Dead Buffet Luncheon ~ Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Come to the "Día de los muertos" lunch in the cafeteria on Tuesday, November 1!

Have a photo of taken of you and your classmates at the Day of the Dead Buffet Luncheon in the cafeteria. Email your photos to Profe to get bonus points in your Spanish class!

Bring an item that reminds you of someone you have loved who has passed away and place it on the Día de los muertos altar that you’ll find in the cafeteria. 

Come with   F R I E N D S !

Learn more about El Día de los muertos at this link:

Segunda vida, past and future…

Emily Ruel, Foreign Languages Program Alum, January 2011, is currently finishing work toward her BA degree at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, in North Adams.  She has granted us permission to post her final project for her SPA 202 class.  Emily spent six weeks reading a news story of her choice in a Bolivian newspaper, online.  She (as Palomita Sánchez de Reca) summarized the issues she learned about and then commented on the impact the story had on her own (invented) life.  In her final project, she created this video, in which she presents the news as if she, herself, were broadcasting the story.

Watch Emily Ruel’s outstanding video, below.


Students in Spanish at BCC adopt an Hispanic alter ego and write most of their compositions and video projects in the “voice” of their adopted identity.  This project is called Segunda vida.  It has evolved since our students began doing these cultural projects, in the fall of 2007.  Our students presented their work on their Segunda vida projects at the NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), in New York; at Middlebury College for the NEFDC (New England Faculty Development Conference) and on campus in the Spring of 2009.  We have been invited back to NECTFL for their Spring 2012 conference to present on Segunda vida 2.0.  Teachers at other schools have adapted Segunda vida for their French classes.  BCC students and their instructor will present along with these teachers at NECTFL, this spring.



Join us for our traditional end-of-year lunch at La Fogata, Thursday, May 19th, 1pm!

¡Vaya, Colombia!

¡Vaya, Colombia!

Present and past Spanish students and any hispanohablantes in the BCC community

are invited to join us for

a wonderful Colombian meal.

Check out this website for La Fogata. See the menu and a video taken in the restaurant.

La Fogata ~ 770 Tyler Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

I M P O R T A N T: RSVP by contacting Profe: (413.236.4615) by Thursday morning, 11am. You may also RSVP by posting on this page, below!

La Receta ~ Repochetas …

Aprende a hacer las repochetas…y practica los mandatos (informales, afirmativos) y las expresiones impersonales con “se”

Mira esta presentación para aprender a hacer repochetas, un plato colombiano/salvadoreño riquísimo… Puedes repasar cómo formar los mandatos informales (afirmativos) y también puedes aprender a cambiarlos en expresiones impersonales (con SE). Puedes bajar (download) la presentación a tu computadora si haces clic en este enlace: >>> Las repochetas ~ la receta (mandatos informales afirmativos/expresiones impersonales con SE)

Los Ingredientes que necesitas para hacer repochetas

Students from the Hospitality and Culinary section of Spanish in the Workplace (SPA 131.02) will be preparing repochetas in the BCC kitchen with a team of native Spanish speakers on May 12, 2011. In order to be able to communicate well in Spanish in the kitchen and to speak about the ingredients they use to create this meal, they will have to study the slides in the presentation, below. YOU can learn this vocabulary, as well.  Study the slides, here, or download a copy of this presentation by clicking this link: >>> Ingredientes que necesitas para hacer repochetas

Why Spaniards “lisp”…

Ferdinand, the lisping kingIn class, yesterday, Forrest “Diego” Hull asked why it is that Spaniards pronounce words that have the letters “z” and “c,” (after the letters “i” and “e”) with what sounds like a lisp (or a soft “th” sound). I told the class the apocryphal story of the lisping King Ferdinand, in the 13th Century, whose subjects were so fearful of offending him, they took on the lisping “th” sound. Clearly, this story could not be true. If it were, Spaniards would pronounce words beginning with “s” with this same, soft “th” sound. (Admire the image of King Ferdinand, lisping on his throne…!)

Gerald Erichson, on the website, provided a message from a Spaniard, who is a grad student in Spanish to explain this linguistic phenomenon. He expressed his irritation with those who repeat the “lisping king” story:

“Firstly, the ceceo is not a lisp. A lisp is the mispronunciation of the sibilant s sound. In Castilian Spanish, the sibilant s sound exists and is represented by the letter s. The ceceo comes in to represent the sounds made by the letters z and cfollowed by i or e.

“In medieval Castilian there were two sounds that eventually evolved into the ceceo, the ç (the cedilla) as in plaça and the z as in dezir. The cedilla made a /ts/ sound and the z a /dz/ sound. This gives more insight into why those similar sounds may have evolved into the ceceo.”

Read more at: Origins of the Spanish \"lisp\"

Have you found other explanations for the “ceceo”? Post them on the blog, on the “BCC Breaking News and Posts” page…

La Quinceañera ~ Wednesday, December 8th, 6:30pm, Koussevitzky 111

BCC hosts a Diversity Films Series on Wednesdays at 6:30pm, once a month during the academic year.  This is a film you will truly enjoy… Attend this film and send me an email with your opinion on it (just a few sentences long), and I’ll give you homework bonus points:  5 points if you write in English; 10 points if you write in Spanish.


La Quinceañera will be shown Wednesday, December 8th , at 6:30pm, Koussevitzky 111.  (In English.)

La Quinceañera

Netflix summarizes:

This sensitive coming-of-age drama, a 2006 Sundance Film Festival award winner, tells the story of Magdalena (Emily Rios), who, on the brink of her 15th birthday, finds her comfortable existence shattered by the discovery that she’s pregnant. Cast out by her parents, the once-privileged teen finds safe haven with a great-granduncle and a gay cousin (Jesse Garcia), who introduce her to a world far different from her gentrified middle-class life.

FORUM ~ Tues, 11.16.10: Beyond the Tour Bus: Student Travelers in Spain

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 – Priority Registration Day:

Plaza_Mayor_Salamanca_largeHey, you have to be on campus for Priority Registration Day, anyway, RIGHT?   And, you probably need to attend a few more FORUMS, RIGHT?

Head over to M-204 at 12:15pm, November 16th.  You’ll be inspired to see if YOU can organize a trip to Spain, as well…

Beyond the Tour Bus: Student Travelers in Spain
What is it like to travel, learn, and live in a foreign country? BCC student Sara Chilson and Emilie Papa discuss their experiences as BCC students abroad in Salamanca, Spain.
Time: 12:15 PM -1:15 PM
Location: M-204
If you are taking SPA 101 or SPA 201, respond to Prof. Cooper’s questions about what you learned about Salamanca during class for 2 bonus points!

BCC FORUM ~ Tres Vidas ~ martes, el 2 de noviembre

¡Hola a todos!

Kindly make every effort to attend the FORUM on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.  If you attend and if you share what you learned at this performance with your class, you can earn up to five bonus points on your final grade for your Spanish class.  See the flyer, below:

BCC FORUM ~ Tres Vidas ~ Tuesday, November 2, 2010

BCC FORUM ~ Tres Vidas ~ Tuesday, November 2, 2010

(Click on the flyer to see the full-sized image.)

Bring tons of friends, classmates, family members!


Click on the following link to download the flyer for this event:
Flyer for Tres Vidas FORUM-11.2.10

El Día de las madres

Esta presentación es de Michael “Jota Jota” Van Deusen.  JJ  diseño esta presentación para los alumnos de la clase de SPA 101 ~ Fall 2010.  Hizo muchas investigaciones útiles.  Puedes utilizar esta presentación para aprender mucho sobre las costumbres y actitudes en el mundo hispano sobre la persona de la madre en la familia.  ¿La familia hispana te parece muy diferente de la tuya?  ¿Cómo?  Vamos a discutirlo juntos en la clase.

You can download  this presentation by clicking on the link, below:

Van Deusen-Día de las madres para VT-10.13.10