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TAMUCC Islanders teach English to area high school students, but with a twist

Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 18:54:56-04

A new and unique partnership for area students is helping bridge the language gap.

West Oso High School and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi are joining forces to open the lines of communication.

English may come as second nature to many people in the Coastal Bend, but for some Spanish speaking students at West Oso High School, it can be a challenge.

That is where students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi come in.

TAMUCC assistant professor Dr. Mara Barbosa, TAMUCC Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, has created a system were speakers of both English and Spanish can learn from each other.

In the first part of the lesson, TAMUCC students teach these West Oso High School students English, focusing on writing and reading strategies. These methods are crucial because this will help them pass the state standardized test.

However, for the second half of the lesson, the teaching techniques come with a twist

West Oso students teach Spanish to the English speaking TAMUCC students.

“The idea is not just that they learn a language, but that they become global citizens that they learn to respect each other’s culture and understand that everyone is different and that’s good,” Barbosa said.

In return, these college students receive not only college credit but also the opportunity to learn another language and culture.