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Hispanic Minorities in the United States
1984 Volume III

Introduction

The units written in this seminar reflect the interests of the seminar Fellows as much as the material covered in the seminar. For the seminar discussions, we read three memoirs: Edward Rivera’s Family Installments, Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets and Richard Rodr’quez’s Hunger of Memory. We also read a novel, Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya and a play, The Oxcart, by René Marqués. In addition, we read articles on subjects ranging from undocumented Mexican workers to the Puerto Rican independence movement. Using the readings as a point of departure, we then discussed topics including immigration patterns, immigration experiences, political status of Hispanics, assimilation and separatist pressures, bilingual education, religion and folklore. To some degree all these concerns are reflected in the units that follow. Nonetheless, since Fellows were encouraged to write units they could use in the classroom, their units also embrace areas not specifically addressed in the seminar readings or discussions.

The subjects covered in these units can be divided into three groups. The first and largest group offers materials that can be used in courses in Spanish, English as a Foreign Language, bilingual education, social studies and art. Included in this group are units on outstanding Hispanic women, Puerto Rican painters, Mexican influence in the southwestern United States, case studies on Hispanic immigrants in the New Haven area and Hispanic folklore. These units all include materials (readings, slides, maps, etc.) with student exercises that can be used in the classroom. The second group is concerned specifically with language teaching and includes units on English idioms and colloquial Spanish expressions for living and traveling in Puerto Rico. Like the units in the first group, these also come with activities for classroom use. Finally, we have a unit on problems facing Hispanic teenage mothers in New Haven which teachers should find particularly instructive.

Nicolás Shumway

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