Spanish L2 Students’ Perceptions of Service-Learning: A Case Study from Ecuador

Alan Victor Brown, Kerry Purmensky

Abstract


This article examines students’ perceptions of the relationship between the service-learning component of a four-week study-abroad program in Ecuador and the development of their linguistic and cultural competency. The data come from two sources: (1) students’ responses to a survey composed of Likert-scale and rank-order items and (2) student journals written for an introductory translation course after the completion of several service projects relative to dental care and hygiene. The quantitative survey solicited students´ perceptions of the effectiveness of the service-learning component and other characteristics typical of study-abroad programs. In general, students perceived a positive relationship between their participation in service-learning projects while abroad in Ecuador and the development of their linguistic and cultural proficiency. Analysis of students’ reflective journals concerning the service-learning experience resulted in the identification of several themes within the areas of language-related and culture-related learning, contributing to the discussion around the complexities of acquiring linguistic and cultural knowledge through International Service-Learning (ISL).


Full Text:

PDF

References


Amerson, R. (2010). The impact of service-learning on cultural competence. Nursing Education Perspectives, 31(1), 18-22.

Arenas, A., Bosworth, K., & Kwandayi, H. P. (2006). Civic service through schools: An international perspective. Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education, 36(1), 23-40.

Beebe, R. M., & De Costa, E. M. (1993). The Santa Clara University Eastside Project: Community service and the Spanish classroom. Hispania, 76(4), 884-891.

Bloom, M. (2008). From the classroom to the community: Building cultural awareness in first semester Spanish. Language, Culture & Curriculum, 21(2), 103-119. doi:10.2 167/lcc349.0

Borg, J. P., & Zitomer, D. H. (2008). Dual-team model for international service learning in engineering: Remote solar water pumping in Guatemala. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice, 134(2), 178-185.

Carney, T. M. (2004). Reaching beyond borders through service learning. Journal of Latinos and Education, 3(4), 267-271.

Clark, G. (2000). Messages from Josefa: Service learning in Mexico. Language and Learning Across the Disciplines, 4(3), 76-80.

Collentine, J., & Freed, B. F. (2004). Learning context and its effects on second language acquisition: Introduction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26(2), 153-171.

Conway, J. M., Amel, E. L., & Gerwien, D. P. (2009). Teaching and learning in the social context: A meta-analysis of service learning's effects on academic, personal, social, and citizenship outcomes. Teaching of Psychology, 36(4), 233-245.

Fain, S. M., Rossatto, C. A., & Slater, J. J. (2002). The Freirean legacy: Educating for social justice. Counterpoints, 105(7), 226.

Fuller, T. L. (2007). Study abroad experiences and intercultural sensitivity among graduate theological students: A preliminary and exploratory investigation. Christian Higher Education, 6(4), 321-332.

Gilin, B., & Young, T. (2009). Educational benefits of international experiential learning in an MSW program. International Social Work, 52(1), 36-47.

Grabois, H. (2007). Service-Learning throughout the Spanish curriculum: An inclusive and expansive theory driven model. In A. Wurr & J. Hellebrandt (Eds.), Learning the language of global citizenship: Service-learning in applied linguistics (pp. 164-189). Bolton, MA: Anker.

Gray, K., Murdock, G., & Stebbins, C. (2002). Assessing study abroad’s effect on an international mission. Change, 34(3), 45–51.

Greenberg, D. J. (2008). Teaching global citizenship, social change, and economic development in a history course: A course model in Latin American travel/service learning. History Teacher, 41(3), 283-304.

Heuser, L. (1999). Service-learning as a pedagogy to promote the content, cross-cultural, and language-learning of ESL students. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL Du Canada, 17(1), 54-71.

Hubbs, D., & Brand, C. F. (2010). Learning from the inside out: A method for analyzing reflective journals in the college classroom. Journal of Experiential Education, 33(1), 56-71.

Hummel, K. M. (2013). Target-language community involvement: Second-language linguistic self-confidence and other perceived benefits. Canadian Modern Language Review, 69(1), 65-90.

Johns, A., & Thompson, C. W. (2010). Developing cultural sensitivity through study abroad. Home Health Care Management and Practice, 22(5), 344-348.

Kiely, R. (2005a). Transformative international service-learning. Academic Exchange, 9(1), 275–81.

Kiely, R. (2005b). A transformative learning model for service-learning: A longitudinal case study. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 12(1), 5-22.

Levesque-Bristol, C., Knapp, T. D., & Fisher, B. J. (2010). The effectiveness of service-learning: It's not always what you think. Journal of Experiential Education, 33(3), 208-224.

Locklin, R. B. (2010). Weakness, belonging, and the intercordia experience: The logic and limits of dissonance as a transformative learning tool. Teaching Theology and Religion, 13(1), 3-14.

Long, D. R. (2003) Spanish in the community: Students reflect on Hispanic culture in the United States. Foreign Language Annals, 36(2), 223-232.

Long, M. H. (1996). The role of the linguistic environment in second language acquisition. In W. Ritchie & T. Bhatia (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 413–468). New York: Academic Press.

Lowe, T. B., Dozier, C. D., Hunt-Hurst, P., & Smith, B. P. (2008). Study abroad in West Africa: An interdisciplinary program of international education. College Student Journal, 42(3), 738-747.

Morris, F. A. (2001). Serving the community and learning a foreign language: Evaluating a service-learning programme. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 14(3), 244-255.

Nero, S. (2009). Inhabiting the other's world: Language and cultural immersion for US-based teachers in the Dominican Republic. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 22(3), 175-194.

Schulz, R.A. (1996). Focus on form in the foreign language classroom: Students’ and teachers’ views on error correction and the role of grammar. Foreign Language Annals, 29(3), 343-364.

Serrano, R., Llanes, A., & Tragant, E. (2011). Analyzing the effect of context of second language learning: Domestic intensive and semi-intensive courses vs. study abroad in Europe. System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, 39(2), 133-143.

Shively, R. L. (2010). From the virtual world to the real world: A model of pragmatics instruction for study abroad. Foreign Language Annals, 43(1), 105-137.

Smith, T., & Moreno-Lopez, I. (2012). Outcomes of an interdisciplinary study abroad course: Learning Spanish and multicultural education concurrently. Intercultural Education, 23(4), 359-373.

Sternberger, L. G., Ford, K. A., & Hale, D. C. (2005). International service-learning: Integrating academics and active learning in the world. Journal of Public Affairs, 8, 75-96.

Strother, D. L., & Díaz-Greenberg, R. (2007). Harnessing the potential of international service learning: An example working with a bilingual Mayan/Spanish community. In A. Wurr & J. Hellebrandt (Eds.), Learning the language of global citizenship: Service-learning in applied linguistics (pp. 223-244). Bolton, MA: Anker.

Tomlinson-Clarke, S., & Clarke, D. (2010). Culturally focused community-centered service learning: An international cultural immersion experience. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 38(3), 166-175.

Urraca, B., Ledoux, M., & Harris, J. T. (2009). Beyond the comfort zone: Lessons of intercultural service. Clearing House, 82(6), 281-289.

Wessel, N. (2007). Integrating service learning into the study abroad program: U.S. sociology students in Mexico. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(1), 73-89.

Wilson, J. C. (2011). Service-learning and the development of empathy in US college students. Education and Training, 53(2-3), 207-217.

Wurr, A. J., & Hellebrandt, J. (Eds.). (2007). Learning the language of global citizenship: Service-Learning in applied linguistics. Bolton, MA: Anker.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.