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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Can Interlangua Help Spanish Community Service Learning Students?



Liz Girten did such a good job trying out and reviewing http://www.spanishpod.com/ that now I'm asking her to do the same with http://www.interlangua.com/. If another student is interested in doing the same, just let me know.
My SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" students analyzed InterLangua on their midterm exam. The first question: Is Interlangua an example of social entrepreneurship as defined in Greg Dees' book "Enterprising Nonprofits." Last question: should Spanish & Illinois require students to use Interlangua. Students thought it was a great company with a lot of value, but when asked to vote with their wallets, the majority said no. Well, now Liz can try it and tell us what kind of value it would truly bring to our Spanish community service learning courses.
Depending on what Liz finds, I'd like to explore a "customized" service with Interlangua. They work with students and business people on medical Spanish, business Spanish, etc. Since Spanish community service learning students have specific needs, I think we could design some lessons specifically for them. The people at Interlangua are very enthusiastic and helpful, so we'll see.
Here are the questions that I would like Liz to answer in her review. If anyone else wants to use Interlangua (or already has) and wants to post a review here, that would be great!
1. Many students who do Spanish community-based learning have to talk on the phone and report having great difficulties with that. Would Interlangua help students develop telephone skills in Spanish?
2. Students report that Spanish community-based learning helps them develop "real-world" Spanish, not text-book Spanish. Many of the Latinos that they encounter in Champaign-Urbana come from Mexico and Guatemala. Would Interlangua help students become comfortable with a useful regional dialect?
3. Would the technology set-up be a problem for students?
4. Anything else you'd like to say would be welcome!
Liz is busy with final exams right now, so whenever she has a chance to actually use the services at http://www.interlangua.com/, I'll post her review here.
Ann

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