How can a single professor provide foreign language practice for all students in a conversation class? It takes creativity. The Spanish program at Canisius College partners with Jesuit colleges and universities from Latin America (AUSJAL) in a dual immersion program in conversation courses. Canisius students converse with peer learners in Latin America. Half of class time is devoted to Canisius students speaking Spanish with Latin American students and the other half of the time they switch to English so that the peer learners in Latin America can practice their English.
Students enjoy this virtual immersion in the language using Skype. Past partners have included schools in Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. This program allows students from both countries to speak directly in the target language with native speakers, allowing them to feel comfortable speaking. Additionally, the students learn about the culture, gain unique insight into culinary experiences, develop additional skills and even make contacts for future language practice.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, associate vice president, academic affairs