SPANISH VR CASE STUDY: Inside El Quijote (Student Age 15 - 18)
New Braunfels High School, Texas, USA
“In my Advanced Placement Spanish Literature and Culture course, students are required to tackle a large quantity of required readings in the target language. An example of this are the required chapters to be covered from Miguel de Cervantes’ El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha. It is a daunting task for teenagers to read and interpret literary works in archaic Spanish. As such, being able to incorporate Virtual Reality experiences such as those available in the ClassVR Library, combined with outside sources that I have found on my own and uploaded into my portal, allows me to customise my anticipatory set to really bring to life the world that inspired Cervantes’ great masterpiece.”
Age 15 – 18 High School Teacher (USA)
We began by immersing ourselves in the whimsical surroundings of authentic 360 degree photos from certain Spanish cities. We were also able to view a 360 3D video narrated in beautiful Castilian Spanish inside the prison cell that is claimed to be where Cervantes created his work! Once the class had finished going over the “Códigos” (pre-reading discussions designed to provide historic and cultural background and insight into the works before we read them) I led students on a VR journey as described in my article. I then took my class amongst the windmills of La Mancha – another amazing VR experience – which truly enabled them to feel, see and appreciate a part of the landscape.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
To be able to take my students to the sites that inspired Cervantes truly piqued their interest in the subject and allowed them to more effectively internalize the challenging work of El Quijote. It should go without saying that this type of experience is beyond my wildest dreams of what I thought possible when teaching a unit on 17th century Peninsular literature. Breadth of descriptive vocabulary in the target language increased in both content discussions and essays.
- To understand and comprehend Spanish texts.
- To describe settings, characters and atmosphere skilfully.