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Dr. Sonia Kania

Associate Professor of Spanish
Modern Languages
College of Liberal Arts

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Sonia Kania received her Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000). She is currently Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at UT Arlington, where she is the Director of the Spanish Program. She teaches advanced courses in Spanish language and linguistics. Dr. Kania is a collaborator in the Cbola Project, which is concerned with the edition and publication of documents of the Hispanic Southwest from the 16th-18th centuries. She is particularly interested in the History of the Spanish Language, Colonial American Spanish, and Spanish in the United States. Her research focuses on Colonial Mexican and New Mexican Spanish and historical dialectology; she has published numerous articles in those areas and is author of Mexican Spanish of the Colonial Period: Evidence from the Audiencia of New Galicia (Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 2010). Most recently, she has begun researching heritage learner issues and student engagement in the heritage-learner classroom.

Service Learning Class

SPAN 3305-002. Advanced Spanish for Heritage Speakers. This course is designed for heritage speakers of Spanish who demonstrate an ability to comprehend and produce Spanish but who may lack previous formal instruction in the language. Capitalizes upon students’ existing language skills, expands their knowledge base, and develops their ability to read, write, and communicate more effectively in the language. Special attention is given to regional and dialectal differences. Prerequisite: SPAN 2315, or the equivalent, with a grade of C or better.

Academic Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the course, the student:

  • will acquire the necessary linguistic terminology, and will demonstrate his/her understanding of the principal grammar uses of Spanish
  • will be able to identify the main verb tenses and moods of Spanish, both in form and in use
  • will be able to identify the appropriate use of articles, pronouns, prepositions, and participles
  • will be able to identify the other parts of speech: nouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and the various types of clauses
  • will show his/her acquisition of spelling and accent rules
  • will be able to identify many similarities and contrasts between Spanish and English lexical items, avoiding false cognates
  • will be able to apply knowledge acquired in the course to the edition of a story written by a member of the Hispanic community

Service Learning Project

Stories to Our Children

“At the Arlington Public Library, we believe that sharing stories creates a lasting bond between parents and children. Through the Stories to Our Children program, underserved mothers and fathers will be empowered to pen their own children’s stories, written from life experiences, imagination and the heart. The library will then publish and catalog them. The goal and mission is to enforce the idea that mothers and fathers are the first and most important teachers and role models to their children. Likewise, we seek to create a bond between Arlington families and the library. By being published in the library, families will gain a sense of ownership for the library.

Too often, we hear the myth that reading to your child is a middle-class tradition. Families from all backgrounds tell stories to their children. For many families, however, their cultural stories and life experiences are not available on library bookshelves. The goal is to create a special collection of books that are written specifically by Arlington families who have diverse traditions, values and life experiences. By making these unique stories available, we hope to ignite a passion for reading.”

The Stories are written in Spanish and students in SPAN 3305 will collaborate a minimum of 20 hours providing hands-on assistance with the writing and editorial process, including a minimum of one (1) one-hour visit to an Arlington public school assisting in a writing workshop. There will be oral discussions about the service learning experience throughout the semester, and students will turn in a reflective paper about their experience with the Arlington Public Library and the Hispanic community.

Teams and responsibilities: Students will work individually to assist in a writing workshop at an AISD school; then they will work in pairs (with a classmate) editing drafts of the families’ stories. Each story will be edited by two pairs of students (first run and second run).

Partner: Arlington Public Library

Product/Result: Published stories become part of Arlington Public Library collection