30 April 2018

Intercultural Attraction - Tianguis style advertising

Saturday is the day! We're taking the Just Plain Dog Show by bilingual storm! Parks & Rec has agreed to provide us with some tables and chairs, and groups have been preparing materials on a variety of topics related to animal welfare that they want to promote at some exhibit booths at the show!

We have topics from exotic animal trafficking to common pet diseases to proper training techniques to adoption (by far our most popular topic).

Students have coordinated activities, evaluated attractive qualities of booths at the local college club fair (just when I wanted to get outside anyway!), and prepared activities and elevator speeches to engage people with their topic.

But all of that work would be for naught if they can't get anyone to stop!

So first we took a look at a video I scrounged up on "El callejón de la Belleza":

We just watched the first minute or two, and I paused to have students write down what they noticed and what they wondered. I considered doing this in the target language, but frankly I was too pooped to TL that day. They picked up on a lot of colors and big signs, and I meant to show them the vendedora roping the narrator lady in for a demonstration, but we didn't actually get that far in either class.

Today, though, I hit Google gold when I found "10 frases que sólo escucharás en un tianguis"! It's not exactly Authentic, as it was designed for language learners, but it was everything I dreamed it could be! I tried the notice/wonder thing with some photos from the article, but it wasn't nearly as effective as the video. Then I had the class interpret the introductory paragraphs kinda choral style as I projected them, and it was pretty cool seeing how much most of them grasped.

Then came the piece de resistance: grito matching cards. I basically turned the article into a set of cards by copying the grito onto one Google Slide and its description onto the next: rinse, repeat.

I gave each group a pack of nine pairs to match (I didn't bother figuring out how to get the 10th printed, alas). They negotiated through interpreting the descriptions and asked me what new words like cobra and barato meant. Then I displayed a "grito" on the board and asked, ¿Quién tiene la descripción? A volunteer (or victim) would start reading the description card they thought was right, and if they read the right first line, I clicked to the description. If not: another volunteer/victim could try.

Now this is where the interculturality comes in.

We paused after each to analyze whether these gritos and whether they would be useful or not. Here, too, though, I confess to lapsing on the target language (but you know, chill pill, right?) I mean, it's one thing to pick out the ones that talked more specifically about selling products (something that we did NOT run by Parks and Rec), but it was still more enlightening to ponder why la mujer mexicana "deja de ser morena o castaña y se vuelve güera" for one of them. Are the vendedores insulting the morenas? Or are they using racially charged flattery? I suppose I could have told the story about my first experience as a blonde girl at a club in Mexico in Spanish if I had really tried...

So if the infomercials catchphrases are any indication, we should hear plenty of Pásale and Pregunte sin compromiso among the Dog Show exhibits!

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