Using cultural products to integrate Basque culture into the Spanish classroom

This project facilitates and encourages the teaching of Basque culture in the secondary Spanish classroom by providing teachers with easily accessible materials that they can use to plan lessons to incorporate this important regional culture of Spain. The cultural products comprising the project are appropriate for the high school setting in that they meet the language proficiency needs of Stage II, III, and IV language learners, as defined by the World Language Content Standards for California Public Schools. A review of the literature analyzing the inclusion of culture in foreign language textbooks reveals the fragmented, inaccurate, or missing cultural content in the majority of textbooks analyzed. This missing component provides justification for this project and establishes the need for ancillary materials to help teachers accurately and appropriately teach culture. Cultural products present information through native eyes. They include: literature, the broadcast media, newspapers, advertising, song and music, film, and information and communications technologies (ICT). The products in this project represent these categories, and are aligned with the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning. Each product presents an important element of Basque culture through the Spanish language, whether it be products, practices, communities, perspectives, or persons. To reinforce key themes, the products are also paired with a reading from the textbook, Orhipean: El País de Euskara. The goals of the project include enhancing teacher preparation and promoting the incorporation of Basque culture into the Spanish language curriculum. Therefore, accompanying each cultural product is a compilation of suggested classroom activities that allow and encourage students to interact with the material. Aligned with state and national standards, these activities will assist teachers with lesson planning and implementation. Finally, an additional opportunity for learning about the Basque language is provided in Appendix B.