Tag Archives: spanish

Business Spanish Immersion Trip to Chile



During the Spring Break, SPLA 8482 Business Spanish students traveled to Chile with the purpose of  becoming immersed in the Spanish language, culture, green business and their field of interest.   At the same time, they made contacts with important Chilean professionals and are in the process of obtaining internships for the summer.

Students participated in a  Homestay Program  living with Chilean families and so were able to  experience the Chilean lifestyle and culture up close and practice Spanish language skills.   Round Table discussions were held with the Minister of the Environment,  the President of the Senate,  Judge Juan Guzman,  and other  important professionals in the University, legislature, and Environmental fields.
Students participating were Chui Archuleta, Beny Cardenas, Sean Curran, Brian Johnson, Anita Joshi,  Brent Knowles, Sarah Lisenbee and Charles Matack.

7th Mini-Monterey Model Event

Mry Model screen shot

The Monterey Institute is  renowned for our special Monterey Model courses, which are taught simultaneously in multiple language sections. The Language Studies program offers professionally-relevant language courses for our students pursuing degrees in policy and business. These sections may focus on a topic such as Challenges of Globalization, Issues in the European Union, or Green Business (to name just a few), which each group explores from their own language and cultural perspective during the semester.  These language courses, some of which are offered in our Monterey Model format, provide opportunities for our students to enhance their language skills while exploring topics relevant to their degrees. At one or two points during the semester, all languages meet in plenary sessions (interpreted by students in our Conference Interpretation program) to share their findings.

Professor Jinhuei Enya Dai, Professor Vicki Porras and Professor Jacolyn Harmer initiated the 1st Mini-Monterey Model Event back in the Spring semester of 2007, which was entitled “Business Culture Presentation” presemted in Spanish and in Chinese, and collaborated with the Translation and Interpretation Program.  Later Japanese Professor Naoko Matsuo and Spanish Professor Pablo Oliva also joined the Mini-Monterey Model events in 2009.  Currently, as of  Spring 2010, we are celebrating  the 7th Mini-Monterey Model Semester.

MIIS alumni and former advancement fellow, Rajeev Rao (Chinese  Studies, MBA and IPS joint degree), commented on the Monterey Model’s

tremendous value of enhancing language learning at the institute and to academic life at MIIS.

monterey model

The 7th Mini-Monterey Model, held on April 23th, 2010, was a collaboration between the Translation and Interpretation Program, the Chinese Studies Program and the Spanish Studies Program.  The topics ranged from China Nuclear Doctrine, Provincial Reconstruction Team, Renewable Energy, Waste Management, to Chinese Pedagogical Grammar. This Model provides and enhances learning opportunities for T & I students and Language Studies students from different majors and expertise. It also showcases the outcomes of MIIS’s signature pedagogy in Language Studies Program: Content-based Instruction and Individualization.  We will continue celebrating Mini-Monterey Model and hope you can join us soon!

Faculty member honored for teaching excellence

Pablo Oliva was honored by the December 2009 Monterey Institute graduates for excellence in teaching.  Against the dramatic backdrop of the historic Golden State Theater, Oliva reflected on the path that led him to the Institute:

In the short time I have taught at MIIS, I can say that my teaching philosophy has changed profoundly.

Graduation at the Golden State Theatre

Graduation at the Golden State Theatre

I had returned to live in my native Argentina after having lived in North Carolina for a number of years. In 2006 I decided to come back to the US on very short notice to teach Spanish as part of the Summer Intensive Language Program at the Monterey Institute.

After just three days of teaching, I realized that the Institute was like few other places I had taught before and that I was facing a new kind of challenge. My students wanted to know from me how to run a business in Argentina; they asked me questions about arcane grammar rules in Spanish – what exactly is the future subjunctive and how do I use it? They wanted to not just learn the Spanish terms for the different stages a bill has to pass through before coming legislation: they wanted me to explain the process to them in Spanish. My students asked me about my views on the impact of the economic and financial crisis on the Argentina banking system and wanted to discuss in Spanish the US involvement in causing the crisis and finding global solutions!

He also credited the impact that his students have had on him, both personally and professionally:

Pablo Oliva (Spanish), Excellence in Teaching award

Pablo Oliva (Spanish), Excellence in Teaching award

I saw right away that my students’ needs and interests ranged far beyond what I had anticipated and knew I needed to rethink my pedagogical approach. I had brought from Argentina suitcases full of authentic materials which I had thought I could use to teach. However, after my first meetings with my students, I decided not even to open the suitcase. Instead, I emailed my family and professional contacts and asked them to send me new materials which I could use to meet the challenge.

Your curiosity, your probing questions and your healthy skepticism has made an impact on my life. Your research queries have taken me to different NGO’s in Argentina and other countries and opened unexpected new doors. They have allowed me to cultivate friendships and make discoveries even in my own family: one of those discoveries involved learning that a member of my own family was “disappeared” during the years under the military regime in my country.

Staying connected:

Though you leave this beautiful town, you will always be connected to the MIIS community and to the friends you have made along the way who are heading for different parts of the world. You are taking with you the tools you came here to acquire; and are now equipped to bring about change yourselves.We will miss you but we will look for you in our email boxes, Twitter, Facebook, and so on!

Interested in GSTILE updates?  Follow the @gstile and @miis twitter accounts, as well as the rest of the growing MIIS community on twitter.

Interested in staying connected to what people on campus are doing, thinking, proposing, debating?  Check out the rest of our blogging community and watch it grow:  http://sites.miis.edu.    Students and alumni are also encouraged to continue commenting on and contributing to existing blogs, or to create a blog of their own!  For further information, contact the Digital Media Commons (dmc@miis.edu).