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Maru’s Classroom Observation

This is a Spanish Class called Analysis of Texts (Span 3104) Its main subject is Spanish poetry. The entire class is taught in Spanish with a few comments in English.
The majority of the students in this class are majors and/or minors in Spanish Studies. Nearly all are required to take this course to enter the major program of core courses in literature. Most know Spanish fluently and want to learn to read and understand literature better. According to the instructor, “Most students are fairly well prepared to enter Spanish 3104, but occasionally there are some who experience tremendous difficulty, especially with older texts from the Medieval and Renaissance periods.?

The class I observed was on Tuesday, march 08 from 2:30 to 3:45 PM. The class consisted of fourteen students and one instructor. The instructor has taught this course for 25 years.


1. To what extent were the apparent objectives for the class session achieved?
The apparent objectives for the class were achieved through critical analysis of “En tanto que de rosa y azucena?, a poem by Garcilaso de la Vega, a Spanish poet from the Golden Century. The objective was, in the instructor’s words, “To find the secret code in Garcilaso’s poem?.
This objective is part of the general objective of teaching students how to think critically through the analysis of fictive texts.

2. At what point in the session did students seem most and least engaged or motivated?

In the last quarter of the class, when the “secret code? was explicit and the students could find some sexist and manipulative features in the meaning of the poem, the students seem most engaged, even excited and some female students showed their surprise with comments. Some of these comments were shared with the entire class, some of them were between nearby partners. I could hear, for example, one female student who said to her nearest classmate: “What a jerk! This poem is a threat: Garcilaso says if you don’t share your body with me you will become ugly and your body will be wasted?

3. Did you have the overall sense that writing instruction and “content? instruction were braided together or separate?

In the class that I observed, there was no specific activity about writing instruction, despite the fact that most students took notes and took note of a few terms written by the instructor on the blackboard. According to instructor, he usually facilitates open discussions in class focusing on particular textual aspects.