16 October 2009

AP sythesis essay sources: Los indocumentados y el sistema de salud

When you're testing someone to place them in a certain level at a language school, you're supposed to push them until their language breaks down, and the best way to do that is to stop asking "is your mom tall" and start asking "what do you think about interracial marriage?" The assumption is that when people express their opinions, they get emotionally involved and think less about their language, and they get into vocabulary they're not used to using. So why don't we do that with our students?

After a relatively calm first couple of units, my third unit in AP Spanish is a short one on health. I decided to move away from the "use reflexive verbs to describe how you take care of yourself" and make my students think about the issues related to undocumented workers and the U.S. healthcare system and healthcare reform.

First hurdle: my students did not know what the health department was. They thought I was talking about the health inspector.

After we got that cleared up, our "story" was about a lawyer in Lexington (KY) who last year sued the health department for treating illegal immigrants, saying that their services should be reserved for taxpayers. A judge threw the case out for the garbage it was, but it's a good point to get my students thinking--what's the difference between an illegal immigrant and a citizen? Paying taxes? Do most of the people who use the health department make enough money to pay federal income tax? Do illegal immigrants pay sales tax when they go to the store? Do they pay property tax, whether themselves or through their landlords? What type of healthcare does the health department provide? How much money does this preventative and contraceptive care save our healthcare system every year? Is there ever a reason to deny a child a vaccine that's available, ever?

Then our oral presentation and synthesis essay were drawn from these two print and audio sources I found on the internet. You can't buy this stuff in a textbook. Your textbook was out of date when it went to press.

Here are the print sources:
'Dolor de cabeza' la reforma de salud

¿Dónde quedan los inmigrantes en la discusion de la reforma de salud?

And this is a very good downloadable audio source, quite clear and muy parecido al audio in the AP exam.
Denuncias contra indocumentados
The audio is part of a longer radio program, but the relevant parts for this essay are from 11:16-12:56 and 20:02-23:22.

Remember, we're preparing them for more than the AP.

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