¡Viva Malaguas! : Spanish classes create political campaigns, provide hands-on learning experience

Hailey McEntee, Co-Editor

Check out the gallery for some of the political campaign posters created by Gouger’s Spanish 3.5 students.
Spanish 3.5 classes participated in a political campaign for a fictional country called Malaguas. They worked in groups to create a newscast that supported their campaign.
“I liked working with others for this project,” sophomore Gabby Gunnerson said. “We got to work in small groups, and it made it a lot easier and more enjoyable.”
Gunnerson said her group had good communication with each other about the project.
“My group had a group text going so we could talk about everything for the project,” she said. “We divided the work and made plans over the text, and then we compiled everything we had all done. It worked out really well.”
Gunnerson said she liked seeing people’s viewpoints on certain issues.
“You get a lot of different ideas when you work in a group,” she said. “People were coming up with things I would have never thought of if I wasn’t with them. When I was coming up with ideas I didn’t really think of what could go wrong with it, but the people in my group did, so that
really helped.”
Spanish teacher Jill Gouger said she liked hearing the ideas students had.
“It’s important because since students run the whole unit, they have to speak to convince us,” she said. “They try to express their own views and opinions. They got to learn about more than just Spanish. They
have to think about problems and positions, and they have to come up with possible solutions to things like poverty and unemployment. Then, these choices they make in their party affect the other factors.”
Gunnerson said she has made many memories throughout this unit.
“One of my favorite memories was when we decided that we were going to do a Chipotle commercial in our newscast,” she said. “So, obviously, that meant we had to go on a Chipotle run — it was my genius idea.”
Gouger said she likes that the students get to create campaign posters.
“I always keep the posters up until the following year,” she said. “I like keeping them up so students get excited for that unit and can see how our class was sort of like its own little country.”
Gunnerson said the Malaguas unit is very beneficial to learning.
“The whole unit was centered around speaking and listening and comprehending things in Spanish,” she said. “It forced us to think quickly in Spanish which we haven’t had very much experience doing before, so it has really helped us all improve.”
Gunnerson said the political aspect of the unit was constructive.
“Obviously, I don’t ever plan on being a politician, but this was actually a good way to see how politicians have to think about issues,” she said. “You have to see the problems and try to solve them, but then there are a bunch of other factors. It was really interesting.”
Gouger said she likes how the political aspect of Malagauas makes students think.
“They can choose whatever position they want,” she said. “There’s no right or wrong answer.”