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iconInquiry 11: Spanish/Portuguese Study

Click the comic link or comic image on the right to view the graphic version of Spanish/Portuguese Study inquiry. Read the narrative below.

Dylan is a high school junior interested in travel. He's in third year Spanish and would love to travel to South America.

After reading the book The Motorcycle Diaries: A Latin American Journey by Ernesto Che Guevara and then watching the movie, Dylan dreams of retracing the journey through South America.

Motorcycle DiariesMotorcycle Diaries

Dylan's questions include:

South America

Dylan explores a variety of maps before selecting one to use in his exploration of South America.

Dylan feels comfortable with Spanish, but he knows that he'll also have to be fluent in Portuguese before visiting South America. He's not worried about reading and writing the language. Instead, he's concerned about being able to understand when people talk to him. Unfortunately Portuguese isn't a course offered at his high school. He discusses his frustrations with his teacher who suggests that they investigate Portuguese speaking sources on the Internet.

The Spanish teacher meets with Mr. Washington to discuss ways to address Dylan's interests. The teacher agree let Dylan use the BBC website to learn the basics of Portuguese as part of his Spanish 3 class. He'll be comparing the two languages.

teenDylan locates a Portugese language podcast that can be downloaded using iTunes. Unfortunately he doesn't have an MP3 player, so he has to listen to the podcast in the school library media center. As Mr. Washington reviews his use statistics, he finds that an increasing number of students are downloading podcasts, digital books, and other audio materials in the school library. These students account for many hours on the computers when they actually only need an MP3 player. He decides to invest in 6 small ipods that can be checked out by students for 3 day periods to reduce the strain on his computers. Dylan is thrilled with the ipods. He can download a week of podcasts on an ipod and listen to them over the weekend.

Dylan asks Mr. Washington about ways to learn more about traveling abroad. Mr. Washington suggests using the U.S. Department of State travel website for information, contacting the local Rotary organization, and exploring blogs of students who have experienced traveling in South America.

Dylan uses the Rotary International website to locate members of the local Rotary club. After exchanging a couple emails, he decides to apply for a student exchange program.

Update: After his senior year in high school, Dylan spends a year in Brazil. He's happy he spent the time to learn Portugese.

© 2007 Leslie Preddy, Daniel Callison, Kym Kramer, and Annette Lamb