My College Guide has one more reason why college isn’t like high school. In college, even at a small college, you will have an amazing assortment of opportunities. Hop on a few college websites to see what we mean! In college, you’ll find plenty of ways to combine your interests and your major with extracurricular activities. For students at Bloomsburg University, students don’t just take the classes, they help teach the classes!
Courtesy of Bloomsburg University
At least, these students will be teaching elementary school children the basics of French and Spanish in a new program, the after-school French and Spanish Club! Thanks to the Bloomsburg University Twitter account for helping us get in touch with Nathalie Cornelius, the associate professor of French at Bloomsburg University.
Tell us about the after-school French and Spanish Club. How did this project get started?
The project was originally the idea of the Bloomsburg Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Cosmas Curry. He wanted to see if there was community in building the need for language instruction at a level earlier than High School (when students now begin language study). He thought that a survey of interest (there was interest) followed by the organization of clubs in the elementary schools would build an awareness of the usefulness of language study.
He contacted the Bloomsburg University Languages and Cultures department to discuss the implementation of the project and who would be leading these clubs.
So – Bloomsburg University students will be teaching the class?
The university students who enroll in this course prepare lesson plans and essentially teach the clubs (which are divided by grade and language) in teams of two. The course was created by our Languages and Cultures department on campus.
Is this going to be a one-time thing or are there plans to continue this club each year?
The plans are to not only continue the project, but build on it. We are planning expanding this into the Middle School. Also, we hope that elementary school students will continue participating in the clubs from one semester to the next. As a result, we plan the creation of level II and III clubs in each language as needed, so that the students in the clubs do not only repeat the same lessons the following semester.
What kind of things will these elementary school kids be learning from the college students?
The elementary school kids will be learning not only language but culture. By learning colors, numbers, body parts, basic conversational exchanges, music, food vocabulary, learning about countries and areas where the languages of study are spoken, and major holidays of these areas, students will be not only learning language arts, but also math, social studies, improving their skills in visual and performing arts, and geography.
Courtesy of Bloomsburg University
How do these students plan on preparing for the French and Spanish After-School Club?
The elementary school student does not need any preparation for these clubs. The idea at this point is to teach them that language learning is fun as well as practical. And they also develop other skills, as mentioned above.
The university students must prepare lesson plans in advance and have them reviewed by the course instructor (that is myself at this time) as well as by the school principals and superintendent.
What do you think the Bloomsburg University students will get from trying their hand at teaching a foreign language and actually interacting these with young children?
The Bloomsburg students will apply their second language knowledge and skills outside the university classroom, and create and implement second language teaching tools and techniques. They will also gain insight into how a second language is acquired in school-age students and finally, the university students will expand their knowledge of global languages and cultures through the preparation required to teach the clubs.