Christian Academy of Language and Learning began teaching Spanish as a Second Language in the fall of 2009. The program has focused on helping missionaries, teachers and other professionals. As the program has grown, so has the vision, and this year that vision is being realized as students from MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) and Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) arrive to SENDAS.
In April, three students from MidAmerica arrived for 4.5 weeks of student teaching and language study. Their schedule was filled with teaching elementary school classes each weekday and taking Spanish courses on the weekends and late afternoons. The three students visited a number of sites in Costa Rica including downtown San Jose, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Jaco beach and Poas Volcano. They learned much about teaching in another culture and left speaking lots more Spanish than when they arrived.
In May, a group of seven students arrived to Costa Rica to enjoy nine weeks of Spanish study under the teaching of PLNU professor Dr. Scott Bennett. Dr. Bennett teaches the four credit Spanish 101 course for four weeks and then after a few days of travel with the students, Spanish 102 begins. A total of 13 PLNU students will study with the program this summer. Academically, this program is very intense with students learning the same Spanish curriculum that would normally be covered in two semesters of university study. Being immersed in the culture, and not having other classes to focus on, makes the learning easier for the students.
The CALL/Point Loma program includes many activities all designed to give opportunities to understand more of the culture and language. For instance, students participate in the “language partners” program that provides conversational practice for four hours each week. Additionally, the students spend two weekends with local Costa Rican families from local churches. These experiences are invaluable for language and culture learning.
Additionally, the students have a field trip each week to various locations such as Poas and Irazu Volcanoes, San Jose museums, a coffee plantation, and a butterfly farm. Two weekends are free travel weekends when students can explore the beauty of Costa Rica, whether it’s a visit to a beach or the mountains. And the highlight of the trip is a 3-night stay near the active Arenal Volcano where students enjoy the canopy tour and hot springs.
The university students are a great addition to the CALL program. Plans are underway to continue the programs with both MNU and PLNU, while adding other universities as well. At the same time, CALL continues to serve missionaries and other professional students, both on campus and online.
CALL is a ministry of the Nazarene Seminary of the Americas and profits from the program help the Seminary in providing theological education at all educational levels.
If you would learn more about CALL, email the Program Coordinator, Shelley Webb at email@example.com or view the Facebook page under Christian Academy of Language and Learning.
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