SUPER 2012: Exploring Argentina

Argentina has recently lost two of the country’s cultural icons – the writer and artist Roberto Fontanarrosa and the singer Mercedes Sosa. This institute will provide teachers of Spanish language with an opportunity to explore the work of these artists within the context of Argentine culture.

Roberto Fontanarrosa, the beloved short story writer, novelist, and comic strip author, died in 2007. The institute will include examples of his work such as short stories, samples of the comic strip Inodoro Pereyra, as well as his contributions to the group of comedians Les Luthiers.

Mercedes Sosa, on the other hand, as a folk musician, represents music of Argentina beyond tango, the music we tend to associate Argentina with. Her death in 2009 saddened her fans far beyond the borders of Argentina. The institute will focus on some of the classic themes by Sosa and particular attention will be paid to her love of Argentine folklore.

For foreign language teachers, in-depth cultural information as well as the immersion in the language they teach is of great importance. In order to make sure that this new information as well as the refreshed communication skills finds their way to the classroom, one session each day will be dedicated to pedagogy; participants will develop activities designed to help increase students’ proficiency in all four language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Additionally, a couple of sessions will be dedicated to what has been known as the stumbling block for most Spanish students on the road to the proficiency – the communicative function of narration in the past and the proper use of the preterit and the imperfect. Finally, participants will receive a hands-on introduction to the resources on Argentina’s popular culture and beyond.

Lead scholar: Barbara Domcekova, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Spanish, Birmingham-Southern College

Location: Birmingham-Southern College, Birmingham

Dates: July 8-13

Times: Program begins Sunday at 3 p.m. and concludes Friday at 12 p.m. Daily session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will end at 9 p.m.

Format: Residential seminar. Lodging and all meals provided.

Meals: Continental breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Lodging: Birmingham-Southern College, high-security, single-occupancy (one per participant), dormitory room with private bathroom

CEUs: 45 contact hours

For all questions concerning this program, contact Thomas E. Bryant:, (205) 558-3997.