My study abroad experience greatly impacted my learning as a Spanish education major because it gave me an excellent opportunity to learn while in the context of what I was studying. It’s one thing to learn about Spanish grammar and culture in the classroom, but it something much more applicable when I can see that grammar and culture first hand in the world around me.
The best part of my study abroad experience by far was the bilingual teaching internship I was able to do while in Spain. It gave me an insight to see from one thing what it’s like to be a Spanish teacher and all of the responsibilities that are included. A second thing that the internship did was help me to compare and contrast the Spanish education system with the American one. One thing that I found was that there is a greater emphasis and more positive attitude towards learning in Spain then there is here in America. Being able to bring that mentality into classroom here in the United States will help me to inspire future students in my classroom.
Another way in which the study abroad experience enhanced my learning what is the opportunity to work with another internship that taught English to Spanish speaking students. I had overestimated their abilities in English, so the challenge with them was trying to get them to understand English grammatical concepts in a way that made sense to them. The lesson plans I had to create in order to reach these non-English-native speaking students had to be approached from a different perspective. As someone who plans to teach Spanish in a marginalized Hispanic school district in the future, both of these internships served a great purpose and making me more aware of the struggles that Spanish-speaking students have in the classroom. I would like to think the donor of the Wilma J. Newberry Scholarship Fund for the incredibly generous gift towards my study abroad experience. It was an honor to receive it, and I greatly appreciate their consideration.
- Jackson Yerrick