Publication Date

2015

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo

Abstract

Canton High School (CHS) is a 485 student, small upper-middle class public school located in Canton, Connecticut. The mission of the school involves preparing productive, tolerant and responsible citizens with the character and independence to embrace and contribute to the global world. However, CHS is limited in its ability to provide students with opportunities to connect with the world outside of Connecticut and the United States, both linguistically and culturally. Although the majority of Canton students take a language class freshman year, the number of students continuing on in learning a language drops every year thereafter. Many students state that they are unmotivated to learn a language because they do not see a usage for it outside of the classroom. In addition, although the high school does offer a few international trips, these programs are only offered and financially affordable to a small group of students and focus more on site seeing and cultural exposure rather than linguistic development and guided reflection.

The Experiential Language Learning program was designed to provide students with an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the Spanish culture and language. Participants in the program will live for in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala for three weeks with host families. During their time in country, students will take intensive Spanish classes hosted by Casa Xelaju, volunteer at La Pedrera Community Project, and participate in cultural activities and excursions. This program aims to provide CHS students with an affordable opportunity to practice their Spanish in an immersive and authentic setting as well as to motivate students to continue learning about the world around them in order to become productive, tolerant, and responsible citizens of the globe.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Civic and Community Engagement | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | First and Second Language Acquisition | Place and Environment | Sociology of Culture