Saturday Night Rivals: St. Joseph Takes Spanish Class To New Level
ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (WCCU) —
One teacher at St. Joseph Ogden is educating his students by having the class meet someone they’ve never seen, who speaks the language they're learning.
The teacher says it has helped his students take that next step in enhancing their Spanish.
"It's been fun so far because it’s always interesting to meet new people, especially when they come from places your unfamiliar with,” said Michael Congworth, a senior student at St. Joseph Ogden High School.
Michael Congworth is a part of the Spanish club and is one of the students who was recently introduced to a pen pal who lives in Mexico.
The club started because Zachary Sutton, the school's Spanish teacher, met another teacher from Mexico at a convention who thought the students meeting could be a good idea.
After hearing the idea, Sutton was on board.
"But ultimately, the best way for kids to learn Spanish is to engage in it in a real way, with real people,” said Sutton.
The class usually tries to reach out to their pen pal once a week and students say they talk about all kinds of various topics.
Some of the students say after communicating with their pen pal they’re surprised how much of the language they still don't know.
"It like made me really understand that I have a lot more work to do, but other than that it's really cool and I hope, I feel like me and her we'll get a good relationship throughout this whole thing,” said Andrea Coursey, a senior student at St. Joseph Ogden High School.
Only two weeks into the process, this is still in experiment mode, but Sutton says if the students stick to it their spans can improve significantly.
"So if I really want them to become great at Spanish, I should be letting the example not be me, but actual Spanish speakers,” explained Sutton.