The Spanish for Heritage Learners Program proudly promotes our language and culture in the university community through six undergraduate courses and two bilingual encounters: Club Bilingüe and Club Latino de Arizona.
The Club Bilingüe is an informal meeting that is held every Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 P.M. at the Guerrero Center. Students are encouraged to attend in order to interact with other peers in the program as well as practice Spanish outside of the classroom. An instructor from the program is present at each weekly meeting.
Club Latino de Arizona (U of A official club) began in the fall of 2006 as an organization affiliated with the Spanish for Heritage Learners Program. It is made up of current and former students from the program. This club has several objectives, some of which include: maintaining and promoting Spanish in the community, performing volunteer service, organizing and participating in Hispanic cultural events, learning and honoring each member’s cultural heritage. This group meets on every 2nd Wednesday at 6:00 at César Chávez #211. Additional information about the Club Latino de Arizona can be found in the club’s social media pages: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clublatinodearizona Twitter: @clublatino_az
Conversation Partners began in the fall semester of 2011 as a way to promote the use of Spanish among advanced students and a way to improve the use of Spanish among beginner/intermediate students outside of the classroom. The advanced courses are required to complete five hours of volunteer service, and this a perfect way to fulfill that requirement. Even though the beginner/intermediate courses are not required to participate, this communicative exchange is an ideal opportunity for these students to practice and maintain their Spanish as well as receive help from advanced students. This exchange is flexible because once the conversation partners are assigned, they decide when, where, and how often they will meet. Many students choose to meet on campus (library, student union, etc.) and typically will set a weekly hour-long meeting for five weeks. Each semester, thirty to forty conversation partners groups are created (60-80 students).
Students in the Spanish for Heritage Learners Program are required to participate in a service-learning component which includes selecting an organization in the community (preferably with one organization/agency that works with Spanish speakers and has a mission of improving our community), performing two-five hours of volunteer service (depending on the class), and in the end writing a reflection about the experience. This experience allows each student to acquire experiences that otherwise could not be obtained in the classroom and furthermore is a character-building opportunity that foments academic and personal growth. The program provides each student with an extensive list of service opportunities such as Casa María, Community Food Bank, Humane Borders, No More Deaths, Primavera Services, and local schools. Each instructor is encouraged to “adopt” an organization and invite his or her students to participate together in a common project. Recently and due to the proximity to the university campus, several Tucson Unified School District schools have been visited by our students.
The Spanish for Heritage Learners Program promotes student and teacher get-togethers each semester. Historically, the program has hosted the “Student/Faculty Interaction Day” in the fall as a venue to share an afternoon with other students and instructors in the program, enjoy great cultural dishes, and enjoy fun cultural activities and games. Typically 150-200 students attend each fall semester.