By Sophia Vahanvaty
Almost every day of our four weeks of Spanish classes at Academia Uruguay, the discussion in my class would inevitably drift to the contents of the various newspapers that were spread across the table in our classroom. Our class was a naturally curious group and questions about things we had heard our host families mention the night before and wanted to learn more about could often be answered by the newspapers. The newspapers introduced us to new technical vocabulary, provided material to debate over, and helped us develop a better understanding of Uruguay.
So, given how interested in the newspapers we had been, it seemed like the perfect project when our teacher suggested we make our own magazine.
We started by turning a critical eye to the newspapers, figuring out what we liked and didn’t like about them, what sections we did and did not want to include. We also polled our peers in other classes to see what kind of content they would be most interested in. And we used our experiences from the week prior when we went out into Ciudad Vieja and attempted to conduct some interviews to help shape our vision.
Once we had it all decided, we started the process of writing and editing. We mostly wrote independently but would bring our work to the class where we would read it out loud and get feedback from our peers and teacher about grammar, tone, organization, and more.
After we finished the writing portion, we began the design and layout. Though it was often challenging, we worked together to create a cohesive design that we are really proud of!
After multiple rounds of further editing with different administrators at the Academia as well, we published our work! Check it out:
After so much time invested into the creation of the magazine, it was very rewarding to be able to present our magazine in front of our AMIGOS peers as well as all the other students taking classes at the Academia. They were super engaged and excited to hear what their horoscope was according to the piece written by one of my classmates, impressed by the reflective eloquence of another classmate’s piece on the philosophical lessons of riding the buses here, and amused by the tongue-in-cheek humor of another classmate’s advice column.
While I have absolutely loved studying Spanish and other languages throughout my life, language learning is sometimes hard because the progress we make is often intangible. Having the opportunity to create a magazine that really encapsulates all our hard work and dedication to the language was a really gratifying experience!