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Engaging World Language Students through Service-Learning

The following is an excerpt from this issue of the CLEAR newsletter.  Please click the link below to read the full article.

Many language programs are struggling to maintain and grow their offerings. As language educators, we need to continuously show the value of our programs not only to administrators and the community, but also to our students. One possibility to do just that is to engage students in service-learning programs in the community.  In order to motivate our students, we need to provide them with ways to apply what they are learning in real-world contexts and with opportunities to use the target language. Sharing their knowledge with others can allow students to practice their language abilities while also providing an important service to the community.  Service-learning and civic engagement programs have been shown to advance students’ attainment of academic learning outcomes (Gascoigne Lally, 2001) and,  within the context of languages, can also increase participants’ cultural awareness and intercultural competence (Reyes, 2009).

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