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Spanish Students Teach Classes and Engage with Community

Spanish+Students+Teach+Classes+and+Engage+with+Community

Spanish 101 students taught classes with the English as a Second Language program to further their language skills while engaging with the community.

The Spring Hill College Foley Center organized this involvement bringing the community and SHC students together. Dr. Cinthya Torres, Associate Professor of Spanish, brought her students to the Foley Center as part of her Spanish 101 coursework to help teach and learn with the students in the community ESL classes as part of a language lab exchange.

According to Torres, “During ninety minutes, students engaged in fun activities where they had the opportunity to help community members improve their English language skills while practicing their language skills in Spanish.”

Torres explained the importance of the ESL program, the language lab exchange, and how as an educator and immigrant, she understands the struggles, but also the satisfaction of learning a second language. Torres said, “Seeing the enthusiasm of students every time a lesson goes well, the effort they put into their teaching, and the relationship they are building with other students and the community at large confirm to me the importance of this type of service program and the role faculty plays in supporting students’ personal and professional growth.”

According to Torres, this language lab exchange was also to allow students to engage with intercultural communities while gaining a new perspective on the importance of becoming proficient in a second language.

Lead teacher and junior, Kaitlyn Bernard, said, “It’s really hard to learn a new language and it’s really eye opening to see these adults who have worked endless hours all day long come to even further their education just to communicate while they are in this country.”

Grace Forbes, ESL program lead teacher, said, “I learn so much more from my students their attitudes, their patience, the way that they are willing to learn and commit, and it’s so much more than I could ever teach or convey in a lesson.”

According to Torres, the program enrolls about 100 students each semester, and averages a 60 percent attendance rate.

For more information on the community ESL program, contact the Foley Center at [email protected] or 251-380-3057.

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