I have gone to the dark side by proposing to a bureaucratic conference, in the section on student success. It is because I had a student from the Education school with a senior project that I thought deserved to have an impact if it could, so I consider this a teaching activity: getting a student into a professional conference. Still…well, in any case, here is the proposal. It is no badge of honor to have a presentation for a venue of this type, but I do hope we get in. I also hope I get the student to get the statistics that will make the presentation land.
Spanish, the 21st century language: forming bilingual professionals
The United States is the world’s second largest Spanish speaking country. The Spanish-speaking population of our state is on the rise, and interest follows national trends. Our parish schools have renewed investments in bilingual programs. We should make a parallel investment, designed both to attract first-generation and non-traditional Hispanic students into our universities and form them into bilingual professionals, and to better prepare those learning Spanish as a second language to work in bilingual environments. Current scholarship in language pedagogy offers tools to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes, and to lessen the gap between native and non-native speakers. Exposure to the spoken language and low student-teacher ratios are key in language acquisition. Today’s digital environment offers a plethora of authentic material and facilitates interaction.
Dr. Z teaches Spanish and Latin American literature at Vichy State University. XY, a senior in Spanish Education at VSU, plans a career in secondary teaching, administration and education policy. This presentation is based on research and fieldwork undertaken by Y on the theoretical bases and practical implications of new Spanish language initiatives in the Pétain Parish schools. Y proposes we respond to these initiatives with programs designed to produce college graduates, native speakers or not, with professional-level bilingual skills. This would improve the quality of students, increase student numbers, and attract students from new demographics.