A Language Curriculum for a Spanish Immersion Program in Guatemala
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Nerea Delgado TLE thesis PRINT.pdf
Delgado Fernandez, Nerea
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This project aimed to develop a curriculum for the 2016 Guatemala J-Term program offered by Carthage College. This program consisted of an almost one-month experience in which students were immersed in the culture and language of Nuevo Horizonte, a rural Guatemalan community. The curriculum included seven activities that intended to enhance the students’ oral proficiency in Spanish. Other skills such as reading, writing and listening were also included so as to help students to improve their overall language competency. Seventeen Spanish students participated and completed the intended curriculum, which was conducted entirely in Spanish. Students’ language gains were measured through pre- and post-stay interviews. The data showed that virtually all students improved to some extent, fluidity of speech being the variable that presented the greatest gains. Other areas such as grammatical accuracy and vocabulary acquisition presented substantial gains as well. In addition, questionnaires and journals were utilized to track both the students’ use of Spanish and their language development. These accounts provided important information in terms of the linguistic challenges that students at more advanced levels experience as they work towards attaining a proficient command of Spanish. In sum, the present project provides a reference model for future short-term study abroad programs, and suggests clear linguistic benefits that may be relevant for future students and instructors alike.
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