is Rita Wirkala and I will be your instructor for this course. Spanish
is my native language, since I was born in Argentina. In my twenties
I moved to Brazil, where I lived for 13 years, raised a family and
ran a business with my husband. In 1987 we moved to Seattle, where
I became a college instructor.
my doctoral degree in Spanish Medieval Literature from the University
of Washington, and I specialized in ancient Middle Eastern stories,
called "teaching-stories" which were transmitted to Europe
through the eight centuries of Arab presence in Spain.
I primarily teach the language, culture and literature, I also include
social issues related to Latin America in my lessons. Because I
lived through the most tragic years in the history of my country,
and perhaps the most critical time in the economic history of Brazil
as well, I have developed an acute awareness of the plight of developing
countries, which I try to communicate to my students. This involves
actual travel, and I have organized several study trips with students
from different colleges, which combine the study of language, culture
and community service in Guatemala, Perú and Argentina.
personal interests are poetry, psychology, the environment, the
effect of globalization on developing countries and other current
events. You will find some of these interests reflected in the readings
I have written or selected for the courses.
concern, however, is to excel in my profession, which is to teach
the Spanish language and culture in the rather challenging way presented
by the Distance Learning course, Telecourse or Interactive TV. I
want to make sure that my students know they can count on my help,
guidance and flexibility, as well as my prompt availability.
please do not hesitate to contact me when you need. I can give you
orientation regarding procedural matters, grammatical explanations
or advice on how to succeed in these classes.
phone number is (206) 368 2576; however, the best and most efficient
way of communicating with me is via E-mail at this address:
is a lesson that I can pass on to you from my own experience, it
is this: What will most lead you to success in this endeavor to
learn a foreign language is motivation and patience. If you apply
yourself, you will learn!