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Utilizing Community Resources: The Conversation Lab

Authors

  • Don L. Kurtz M.A.,

    1. New Mexico State University
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      Don L. Kurtz (M.A., New Mexico State University) is Director of the Language Learning Center at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

  • Anne M. Luna M.A.

    1. New Mexico State University
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      Anne M. Luna (M.A., University of California at Los Angeles) is Lecturer in Spanish at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM


Abstract

ABSTRACT Most innovative pedagogical approaches have focused on the classroom, with little attention being paid to the practical use of language study. Utilizing volunteers from the local Spanish-speaking community, the conversation lab was developed in order to provide students with a safe environment in which to consolidate interactive skills. In the conversation lab described, a group of Spanish-speaking senior citizen volunteers met with first- and second-year students twice weekly on a one-to-one basis for unstructured conversation. Both students and staff benefitted from the program, and results indicate the practical value of incorporating the conversation lab into the regular foreign language curriculum.

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