Name: Lorraine V. Cuddeback
Location of Study: Antigüeña, Spain
Program of Study: Antigüeña Spanish Academy
A brief personal bio:
I am third-year Ph. D. student in ND’s Moral Theology and Christian Ethics program, heading into my candidacy exams. My particular research interests include the Catholic social tradition and liberation theologies, especially from Latin America. I was born and raised in New Jersey, and completed the Masters of Divinity here, at Notre Dame, in 2012.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
My research plans include incorporating ethnographic fieldwork into theological discourse, which I want to justify using the discussions of the epistemic privilege of the poor in Latin American liberation theology. Much of the Latin American literature on this epistemic privilege is untranslated, so to really engage the ideas I need to know Spanish. Furthermore, several very important commentaries and episcopal conferences for the Catholic social tradition have come out of Latin America. Reading Spanish will allow me to engage these texts and keep in touch with new developments the application and reception of social encyclicals.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I hope to gain a strong reading proficiency in the Spanish language to help me engage the necessary texts for my exams and future dissertation project. However, a large part of understanding those texts is getting a feel for the cultures which they come from, hence immersion and speaking proficiency is extremely helpful. Having never studied spanish before, my goals for speaking and understanding the language ater five weeks are modest: I want to be able to have basic conversations about day-to-day experiences. My experience should serve as a foundation for me to continue further work in the language.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
By the end of the summer, I hope to: (1) be able to hold basic conversations with people on the experiences of daily life; (2) recognize tenses and grammatical forms easily enough to comprehend Spanish theological texts; and (3) gain enough competency in speaking, reading, and writing to audit an upper-level Spanish course.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
I will maximize my experience my immersing myself in a homestay, where I’ll need to regularly practice my growing Spanish skills. I will also plan to do my best to work and study in public areas of Antigua — libraries, cafes, etc — so I can continue to practice my skills and watch the everyday life of the culture at work. I will plan to spend my weekends outsdie of class exposing myself to the culture through museums, tours (in Spanish!) and historical sites. I plan to use English as little as possible when speaking with both other students and the people of Antigua. Finally, I will bring several books with me in Spanish that I will work on reading with the help of my professors.
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Reflection on my language learning and intercultural gains:
Reflection on my summer language abroad experience overall:
How I plan to use my language and intercultural competences in the future: