Sarah Longwell, a student in Accelerated Intermediate Spanish (SPAN 240) this semester, opted to combine two of her academic interests, Spanish and Education, into one honors project. Sarah examined a number of issues surrounding the experiences of Spanish-speaking immigrant children in schools in the US, touching on cultural differences, language barriers, and other difficulties with assimilation. She also spoke to teachers about their experiences in the classroom and asked for their ideas on how to ease these transitions.
When asked why she chose this topic for a project to fulfill her honors contract, Sarah replied:
I am going to be an elementary school teacher after I graduate. I have always had an interest in studying Spanish; however, after hearing about how several teachers have struggled when given an English Language Learner, I became even more motivated to learn the language.
I chose this topic because I want to give others a new understanding of what English Language Learners go through when they come into an American school. This project will also be very beneficial to my own career. After completing this project, and as I continue to learn Spanish, I believe that I am preparing myself a little more each day for the future career I aspire to obtain.
Enhorabuena, Sarah, for making empathy for one's neighbors the most important lesson of all.
You can view Sarah's presentation and enjoy it yourself.
Most of the teachers that Sarah interviewed expressed a wish that they had been able to become proficient in Spanish. Interested in combining a Spanish major or minor with your existing field of study? Talk to any Spanish instructor or write Dr. Lori Oxford for more info on how to make it work for you!