Students complete COIL tele-collaboration project with Mexican counterparts

By Lisa Eikenburg

Fredonia students enrolled in the Spanish course "The Art and Craft of Translation" completed a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) project working with students of the University of Sonora, Mexico.

Both groups of students worked together in the literary analysis and translation of short stories by Salvadoran writer Salvador Salazar Arrué.

The project, directed by professors of both courses – Dr. Galicia Garcia from Sonora and Dr. Juan De Urda from Fredonia – is one of the SUNY COIL initiatives. The module took a month to complete. Students initially engaged in an ice-breaking activity to get to know each other and then completed a short translation of colloquial expressions: Sonoran students translated common American English expressions while Fredonia students worked on Mexican Spanish idioms.

The two classes also met in two video conference sessions to discuss the materials and help each other.

For the final assignment, students worked online in small groups translating into English three of the short stories from the book “Cuentos de barro,” by Mr. Arrué. The project enhanced the students´ ability to collaborate long distance and to set up a working network with others, while also improving their cross-cultural competence.