Sarah Geegan

By

College: Arts and Sciences

Students Engage in Service Learning, Enhance Second Language Proficiency

Published: Jan 30, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2013) Everyone knows that one of the best means to attaining proficient knowledge of a language is immersion. But is there a way to make this experience even better? Researchers and teachers are currently seeking ways to expand the immersion technique.

 

Francisco Salgado-Robles, lecturer in the Department of Hispanic Studies, believes the answer to this question is to get the students outside of the classroom. Salgado-Robles is an advocate of service learning, which is producing positive educational experiences in many departments on campuses across the globe.

 

“Service learning is experiential education that engages students in activities that address human and community needs together," Salgado-Robles said. "It is conducted through structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development.”

 

In other words, it is a way to get students out of their desks and into another learning environment – one where they can simultaneously improve their conversation skills and participate in community service.

 

“From what the literature shows and from what I have experienced, I believe that incorporating service learning into the language classroom engages students in responsible and challenging actions for the common good,” Salgado-Robles said. “It provides the students with structured opportunities to reflect critically on their service experience, to expand their awareness and understanding of social problems and, overall, it enables them to learn from a different segment of society.”

 

Salgado-Robles first became interested in the benefits of service learning during his graduate studies at the University of Florida. He investigated the extent to which learners of Spanish acquired variable structures of language and concluded that students who participated in service learning during their sojourn abroad experience had a stronger grasp of Spanish language variation at the end of the term.

 

After graduating in 2011 with a doctorate in Hispanic Linguistics, Salgado-Robles moved to Lexington and began teaching Spanish and linguistic courses at the University of Kentucky. It was a beneficial and exciting move for Salgado-Robles because he was able to develop a Spanish service learning educational program in Lexington with the support of his colleagues.

 

Students in Salgado-Robles’ courses work with a variety of partners across the city, with groups such as the Center for Family and Community Services and the Kentucky Equal Justice Center.

 

“At the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, the students are usually door greeters at a bilingual tax help service, which helps administer a free legal consultation for migrant workers. It’s a fruitful experience for the students,” he said.

 

The students converse with community members regarding cultural customs, habits, festivities and so forth. Salgado- Robles said that the students usually come to class telling their classmates the stories they learned from the people they were helping.

 

Opportunities also exist for students in more specific disciplines to integrate service learning into their educational experience. Advanced medical students are able to develop their communicative and translation skills thanks to Salgado-Robles’ relationship with the Samaritan’s Touch Clinic at the UK Hospital.

 

Other partners in Salgado-Robles’ service learning initiatives include the Village Branch Public Library, Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate, the YMCA, and Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Church.

 

The list does not end here, because Salgado-Robles encourages his students to seek out other community partners for group projects. The students in his Spanish for Business Professionals class last spring and fall met with Hispanic business owners and associates throughout the city.

 

Outside of Lexington, Salgado-Robles initiated a new and successful education abroad program last summer: “Cultivating Intercultural Competence through Service-Learning in Seville.”

 

He took 15 undergraduate students to his hometown of Seville, Spain, where he explored the effects of service learning in a very different setting from Lexington, Ky.

 

“In Spain, it’s a Spanish-only policy," he said. "It’s not even a policy, it’s a reality. Southern Spain has little exposure to foreign people, so not very many people in the region speak English.”

 

Students also learned to be familiar and comfortable with the cultural components of the language. This was the primary emphasis behind Salgado-Robles' service learning programs in Lexington and Seville.

 

The broader region of southern Spain was another opportunity to expose the students to cultural and linguistic variation.

 

“Every weekend we went out of Seville,” Salgado-Robles said. “One weekend we went to Granada, visited gypsies’ caves and had the opportunity to learn about their culture and language (calé), one week in the south of Portugal we could expand our knowledge about the border language portuñol (half Portuguese, half “Español”), and another weekend was in Gibraltar, where we could see the effects of language contact, Spanglish. I chose these places because they were contact zones, where there was a fusion of language and cultures.”

 

From Lexington to Seville, it is that fusion of cultures that enhances the educational experience for Salgado-Robles’ students.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu

morethanjustasecondlanguage2.jpgmorethanjustasecondlanguage1.jpg
August
 
 
 
 
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Wrapped Art
Sun
4
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
5
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
6
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
7
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
8
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
9
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
10
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
11
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
12
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
UK Working Moms Connection
Tue
13
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Wed
14
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
15
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
16
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
17
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
18
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
19
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Tue
20
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Wed
21
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Thu
22
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Midnight Dodgeball Tournament
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
Parent and Families Reception
Residence Hall Floor Meeting
Off-campus Freshmen Check-in
K Team Meeting: K Week Kick-off
Death By Chocolate
Fri
23
Employee Educational Assistance Award
A Parent's Guide to Life after August 23
Campus Safety Information Session
Donut Avoid The Study
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 1
See Blue...See Community
Succeeding in A Large Lecture Classroom
Horses, Bluegrass, Basketball, and More: Welcome to Kentucky
Success at Any Age: College Tips for Adult Learners
Write Right: Tips for Writing Well in College
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 2
How to Graduate in Four Years
Parental Involvement in Fraternity and Sorority Life
Parents Watch for Warning Signs: Suicide Prevention for College Students
Preparing to be a Pre-Professional
Presentation U!: Where YOU are the Ultimate Presentation
Religious Life at UK
Successful Off-Campus Living
The Transfer Student Cruise: Navigating your way through UK
UK Parking & Transportation 101
You Heard It Here First: Tips From A Faculty Member
New Student Induction Ceremony
Minority Student Welcome
Transfer Student Cookout
K Team Meeting: K Week Overview
Men's Soccer vs. Georgia State
Big Blue U
Campus Ruckus
Campus Ruckus
Sat
24
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Jackass 3
LNFS Presents: Godzilla
Pedalpalooza
K Team Meeting: Lunch and Campus Tour
Center for Community Outreach: Do Good, Start Here.
UK Lex-Mart
Alternative Service Breaks: See the World, Change the World
From the Real World to the Amazing Race, Don't Wipeout: Your Advisor, Advising, and You
Blackboard Basics
Student Government Association Information Session
EMPOWER: Women’s Leadership Retreat Interest Session
Student Center Spectacular
Student Center Spectacular
Sun
25
Employee Educational Assistance Award
UK FUSION
UK Parking & Transportation 101
University of Kentucky Association for Transfer Students Interest Session
Candy, Condoms, Coffee
Cleaner, Healthier, Cheaper, Faster: Why Bicycling is the Best Way to Get Around Campus (and how to do it safely)
Working on Campus
K Team Meeting: Dinner with your K Team
Meijer Mania
Mon
26
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Last Day to Drop a Course with 100% Refund
Chem at UK Cafe-N-OJ with the Student American Chemical Society
Coffee (or Coke), Cookies, & Communication!: Come see blue. at Presentation U!
Don't Blow Yourself Up: Surviving Chemistry
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
OMG! Did I Just E-Mail That to My Professor???
Surviving Your First Year and Beyond: Strategies To Do Well in Your Classes
Sustainable UK: Exploring Environmental Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFE)
A User Guide for Your Mathematics Class
Discover the UK Art Museum
K Team Meeting: Common Reading Experience Discussion
Common Reading Introduction for International Students
Transfer Student Meet and Greet
We Are UK
Rec 'N Roll 2014
Big Blue Bingo Night
Mic Check
Tue
27
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
LNFS Presents: Jurassic Park
First Day of Classes
Campus Outreach
Opening Act: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Wed
28
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Her
LNFS Presents: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Student Involvement Fair
OrgSync Info session
LGBTQ* Welcome Back
Dive Into Diversity!
Residence Hall Floor Meetings
Thu
29
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Sea of Blue
One Last Beach Bash: RSA Block Party
LNFS Presents: Team America: World Police
Pills and Pizza
K Week Event: Pills and Pizza
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Wichita State
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Francis Marion
Fri
30
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Neighbors
The Tailgate "Kick-Off"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Butler
Kentucky Football vs. UT-Martin
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Virginia Tech
Sat
31
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ohio
Men's Soccer vs. Belmont
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aug 22
Midnight Dodgeball Tournament 08/22/2014

Fri, 08/22/2014

Reset Page