This semester my independent project will focus on preparing me for my semester in Tucson, AZ with the Border Studies Program. My primary goal is to improve my speaking and listening skills. By the end of the semester I plan to be able to have a fluid conversation for 10-15 minutes. As of now I can converse for about 2-3 minutes, with a lot of interruptions and gesturing. In order to get from 2-3 minutes to my goal of 10-15, I will follow a plan for the semester that will focus on making me feel comfortable speaking, devising strategies to navigate miscommunications and practice listening skills.

Actions I will take to reach my goal:

- I will do short recordings every other week (increasing in length throughout the semester) of topics of my choice, specifically about aspects of my life (like my interests, my family, the TV shows I like, the music I listen to, etc) that I would want to share with my host family in Tucson.

- I will watch Spanish movies with Spanish subtitles so I can put together the words I see on the screen and what I am hearing, this will help ground me while I watch, but will still improve my general comprehension.

-  I plan on coming up with and practicing clarifying phrases that are respectful, but also direct and clear. I will talk to two friends of mine that went on Border Studies this past year to ask them about the communication problems they faced and how they dealt with them. I would like to make recordings of what I learn and possibly share them with the class because I think it would be a valuable resource for all of us.

- I will also meet with another student every other week to read a piece of Spanish literature of our choice and discuss the piece ad our responses to it in Spanish.