Why Study Spanish in Buenos Aires with Mente Argentina – Susan, Canada | Mente Argentina Blog
Susan from Canada joined us in 2019 or our University Spanish Program. Here is her story…
15 years ago I made the decision to go back to university (I was 33 years old) to complete my Education degree. I was ready to learn all I could about global economic, political and social issues. I also loved hearing about history, languages and cultures, so I majored in Social Studies and chose Spanish as a minor. I fell in love with the Spanish language and worked hard in my classes. By the time I enrolled in a 300 level Spanish course however, I knew I was missing something; I looked around the class and realized that many of other students were almost completely fluent! I eventually learned that the non-native Spanish speakers had improved fluency when they participated in an immersion experience. This was not an option for me as I was a single mother of three, but I knew that if ever the opportunity presented itself to learn Spanish in an intense format and in context, that I would jump at the chance.
Last year, I decided to help my students to love language learning as much as I do, and so I worked with my administration to begin offering Spanish 10 at my school. I work at an Outreach school but we have full-time students and I recruited several to participate in a pilot project using a blended classroom. Currently, I am using a combination of teaching strategies: a classroom setting for 1 hour for instruction of a new concept; then a one-hour practice session later in the week; followed by the use of on-line resources and an on-line interactive textbook that corrects the student’s mistakes as they go. I have been teaching, or rather re-learning with them since September 2018.
My school and district administrators are generous and know that I am working hard to make sure that my Spanish 10 students are gaining the necessary skills and vocabulary, but being able to speak and understand Spanish at higher proficiency will be essential in order to continue my career as a Spanish language educator. The program in Buenos Aires not only offers 3 hours a day of intense instruction but also uses time outside of scheduled classes to teach culture and history (in Spanish) by taking students out on excursions.
Also, in order to grow both professionally and personally, I will be enrolling in the MA-IS (Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies) program. This program allows students to build an academic course of studies in order to concentrate on a chosen area of focus. It is my goal to incorporate graduate level classes (perhaps taken in various Spanish-speaking countries) in Spanish language, culture and history into my academic plan.
I feel that improving my fluency in Spanish will open many new doors for me both personally and professionally. Mente Argentina delivers a summer university credit course in an accredited post-secondary institution and it delivers the academic rigor that I require for learning another language and the opportunities to practice the language while immersing myself in the history and culture of Argentina.
This content was originally published here.