Dual Immersion is a unique program at Canisius College: Our students learning Spanish practice speaking Spanish to native speakers studying English at Sister Jesuit Universities in Latin America. As an integral part of our intermediate level courses, students spend half a class period speaking in English, the other half in Spanish. It’s the next best thing to immersion through study abroad! Students talk about a wide variety of topics, from holidays and traditions, foods, popular culture, sports, to serious topics such as the problems of immigration, economic issues, political concerns, crime, and so forth. This unique program fosters cross-cultural understanding and invites students to forge new friendships.
Year after year our students comment how Dual Immersion is one of their favorite aspects of our conversation courses. By practicing one-on-one or in small groups with peers, students feel much more comfortable speaking, and develop greater self-assurance in speaking. Furthermore, since they are speaking to peers who are also learning a language, they learn to understand the challenges of communicating, of mastering another language.
They gain a deeper understanding of their native language, as well, when they see the struggles of their peers as they are learning it. The empathy created in this process encourages students to take more risks when speaking, and opens unexpected doors to new friendships, a greater awareness to new cultures and cultural differences. Dual Immersion awakens in students the joys of learning a language, and the rewards of pursuing the study of Spanish