CSU California Academic Partnership Program

Integrated Language Development Approach

Espanola

Christina Hernandez, Spanish Teacher, Westmont High School, Campbell writes:

Many of the students in my Spanish for Spanish Speakers classes need to learn how the language works - spelling, grammar, things like that. Most of my students are native Spanish speakers from Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico. Because of the rich international mix, my classes have been able to appreciate a wide range of art and literature. the students also do a lot of writing in my Spanish for Spanish Speakers sections.

These classes are very personal. The students have a lot in common - not only the language, but also the immigrant experience, and so, they relate to one another more closely. They connect.

I grew to love this class. it reminded me of why I went into teaching.

I took the students to San Jose State University for a day and to U.C. Berkeley and they learned that college is available to them. I was able to encourage them not to lose sight of college.

The way they blossomed in this class really surprised and pleased me.

Social bonds established within the Spanish for Speakers program were manifest in three ways. These interactions occured between the Spanish-speaking students in the class; also between these students and the non-Spanish-speaking students who they tutored; and between these students and me.

I didn't expect to love them. But that's what happened.

The project

Located in Campbell, the heart of northern California's Silicon Valley, this partnership aimed at Spanish-speaking high school students, who often drop out before graduation. Their approach was to create classes to meet their specific language needs. Spanish for Spanish Speakers classes incorporate language development, oral and written skills, history, literature, and cultural awareness. This uniquely focused course was integrated into the existing foreign language program. The students in Spanish for Spanish Speakers classes became tutors and oral proficiency evaluators for students in regular Spanish classes. The tutoring increased self-esteem in Spanish-speaking students, and increased respect and a feeling of camaraderie between those studying Spanish as a second language and those who speak it as a first language.

Partners in this project include:

  • Campbell Union High School District
  • Campbell Elementary School District
  • Cambrian Elementary School District
  • Moreland Elementary School District
  • San Jose State University
Dissemination goals: To publish and distribute "Integrated Language Development Approach: A Spanish for Spanish Speakers Curriculum," a 175-page binder organized to help school districts duplicate the curriculum in their own schools; to publish articles concerning the project; to make conference presentations; and to co-sponsor the Bay Area Foreign Language Project Stanford Summer Institute.

Project partners spoke at nine conferences during the 1993-94 dissemination year. from the Washington/Oregon Joint State Foreign language College in June, project members shared the benefits of forming academic partnerships, and how to blend foreign language education and the students who speak that language into existing language courses.

Conference presentations reached at least 500 teachers with information and materials on establishing a Spanish Speakers program.

In late June, the CAPP project directors and teachers co-sponsored a two-week foreign language summer institute with the Bay Area Foreign Language Project. Held at Stanford University, eight Spanish/ESL teachers participated with 20 other foreign language teachers in a special Spanish for Spanish program in which they were trained to use the curriculum binder materials.

The San Jose Mercury published "A Spanish Class for Native Speakers," which was also published in other newspapers owned by the same publisher's group. this public-interest media attention resulted in calls from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the Southwest asking for more information about the project.

"Project co-directors and teachers believe that the work we have done over the past years to implement and disseminate the CAPP project has contributed significantly to the growth of language minority education in the U.S.," said Anne Jensen, CAPP project co-director.

"We have provided a blueprint for creating a Spanish for Spanish Speakers program in a variety of settings. We have documented how our program has grown and flourished in the district. And we have personally watched the transformation of Hispanic students in our district who were not college-bound in to college-ready seniors."

 


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Last Updated: January 10, 2005