Winter Student Exchange with Teacher’s College
The majority of the Colegio´s Spanish Language students are retired Americans and Canadians who live in Ajijic and take a weekly class to be able to speak Spanish and enhance their retirement years in this special town.
I would like to begin a Spanish Language Program where students could learn Spanish in an intensive setting, living with and in the village of Ajijic and interacting in the Spanish language with the students from the teacher´s college.
It would be ideal if the participating Spanish language students were also teacher-candidates from US and Canadian univeristies, but anyone with a desire to learn Spanish and interact with Mexican Teacher canidates is welcome
In the Spring of 2015 43 students from the rural teacher´s college in Ayotzinapa, were kidnapped and killed. Anabel Hernandez´ book “The True Night of Iguala” (http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-missing-forty-three-the-governments-case-collapses) tells the horrifying story.
As a teacher and social activist, I wanted to help in some way and several retired teachers and I went to talk to the director of the Escuela Normal de Atequiza, which is another such school about an hour away from Ajijic.
The director told us that he had two teachers to cover English language instruction for 500 students.
We arranged for the rural college students to come to the Colegio de Axixic every Wednesday to learn English, using the same program as the Spanish language students.
These are not traditional college students; they come from poor rural areas and get free tuition, room and board and a guaranteed teaching position in rural schools in the state of Jalisco. But they have had little or no exposure to the English language.
That is why I came up with the idea to match these English language learners with Spanish language learners who would interact in both languages, thus enriching not only their language acquision, but also connecting them and showing them a Mexico that is not available in traditional Summer Intensive Programs.
This program would be tailor-suited to Spanish language students who would like the experience of a rapid acquisition Spanish program (the Colegio´s signature is getting the student to speak Spanish rather than conjugate verbs, and grammar) along with an opportunity to interact with students whose native language is Spanish and share many of the concerns and ideas of other young people.
Available options for home-stay or private accomodations are available, as well as field trips to neighboring cities and states, as well as horseback riding, spa treatments, great restaurants, hiking in the hills and kayaking on the lake. Community service would also be an option an option for those whose wish.