A Conversation Between ELLs and Spanish Students

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 05, 2009 1 min read
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It’s a simple idea but not done enough in schools: having English-language learners who are native speakers of Spanish help a school’s foreign-language students improve their Spanish. Check out this story about North Medford High School in Medford, Ore., that has created a bimonthly Spanish-conversation group for students who are native speakers of Spanish and advanced-Spanish students.

It seems that it would also be good for the conversation group to have a component in which the ELLs could also improve their English with the native speakers of English. The article doesn’t mention this.

Over the years, one of the best methods I’ve found to maintain my Spanish skills is to meet with a native-Spanish speaker for two hours each week to speak an hour in Spanish and an hour in English. I have a language exchange going on right now with a young woman from Colombia. Schools can facilitate the same kinds of exchanges through conversation groups or by partnering up students.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.