Espa?ol es vida para algunos estudiantes de BYU


    By Amy Allen

    Spanish is life for BYU students in the Spanish intensive program this spring as they eat, live, and sleep language and culture while living in Foreign Language Housing.

    The program requires students to take nine credits of classes. Required classes include Spanish 201, 202 and 211.

    The class lasts four hours every morning and prepares students for a trip to Mexico at the end of the term.

    In Mexico, students will live with native church members.

    Students participating in the program say the courses are difficult, but since they are all working to attain fluency for their trip, they help each other out.

    Danny “Pepe” Dorr, 22, a junior from Orem, majoring in linguistics, said the camaraderie between students has helped him learn Spanish.

    “Friendships have developed quickly because we are all working towards the same goal and want to do the best that we can,” Dorr said. “It has only been a few weeks and we study together, we go to class together, go to church together and have fun together.”

    Dale Jarman, founder and director of the program, said the program is good because students live the language as they study it.

    “Students get the benefit of immersing themselves in the Spanish language,” Jarman said. “They live with native Spanish speakers while participating in the program. At the end of the course, they get to see how well their hard work paid off when we go to Mexico.”

    Resident facilitators are present in each apartment to help students develop language skills and keep them from reverting to English.

    Current facilitators are from Spain, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Peru.

    Jarman said constantly practicing Spanish is a big part of the program.

    “I have found that the students” amount of enjoyment in Mexico is in direct proportion to the amount of Spanish they speak during the classes,” Jarman said. “Language immersion is necessary to prepare the students for Mexico.”

    Because of the intense language immersion, Dorr said he has begun thinking in Spanish and now struggles to teach at the MTC in Romanian.

    “I speak Spanish here constantly, take classes in Spanish and study in Spanish, so sometimes I greet my missionaries with a big, ”?Hola! ?C?mo est?n?” when I should greet them in Romanian,” Dorr said. “I don”t realize it until they look at me with blank stares.”

    Crystal Bloom, 18, a freshman from Hesperia, Calif., majoring in recreation management and youth leadership, says she feels guilty speaking English at her job.

    “I have class for four hours a day and am required to speak Spanish in the complex, so when I come to work, I feel guilty because I don”t speak Spanish,” Bloom said. “I feel like I am cheating or something.”

    The group will travel in buses from Provo to Tucson, Ariz., and south to the city of Obreg?n. They will divide into groups and go home with host families.

    They will participate in activities with young single adults in the stake.

    Students will give talks on Sunday at church and have a special testimony meeting with their host families.

    During their stay with host families, students will perform tasks such as riding a bus downtown, interviewing people and asking a police officer for directions.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email