For my Networked Learning Project, I’ve decided to learn how to make a recipe in Spanish. I will learn the vocabulary and how to say the steps involved in making a dish “typical” of a region of the Spanish-speaking world. The challenge here is to find something that’s not too simple but also not too hard to learn in Spanish with the time that we have. I have wanted to learn Spanish for a while in an effort to communicate with more of my students and their families as well as to expand my certification eventually. Being able to teach both Spanish and French would make me much more marketable. Sadly, as a French teacher I have to constantly worry about my enrollment numbers and whether or not the district will stop offering the language. For example, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools topped offering any language in most of their middle schools other than Spanish which hurt language programs like German, Chinese, Japanese, and French at their high schools.
In any case, I like to cook, and I have wanted to learn more about Spanish for some time, so this seemed like an ideal opportunity to get started! I began searching on YouTube for possible Spanish recipes, and the first one that came to mind was paella. The other half is from England, and he loves Spain. He used to go there a lot for vacation and talked about how good the paella was at the beachside restaurants there; therefore, I decided to learn to make the famous dish. I have found several videos about paella on YouTube already many of which are in Spanish. This should be an interesting experiment, as I have almost no experience cooking seafood other than marinating tuna steaks and grilling them, as seafood is typically out of my budget as a student. I also grew up in a meat cutter’s household, so we did not get much in the way of fish. Authentic paella turned out to be a much bigger affair than I thought, but I found another video that was a bit more manageable in size from what appears to be a Spanish cooking or talk show. My next step is to find some help forums to understand more of the language.
I’m really excited about this project, as it’s going to push me to marry three of my biggest loves in a learning experience—learning about languages and cultures, cooking, and teaching. I think this will really help me come up with some great ideas and resources for the classroom, jumpstart my efforts to learn Spanish, and learn to make something Richard loves to eat!