Questions to ask about summer immersion programs
Summer immersion programs are very popular when the school year is over. Perhaps, you might’ve consider whether these programs are worth the time and money.
Regardless of the motivation to undertake a course or begin a summer immersion program, you need to know the following questions.
Considerations about Spanish summer immersion programs
How is the Spanish immersion program going to help you?
You might wonder the type of Spanish immersion program to take with so many options, especially online. Before you make a commitment in taking a summer course or class, consider how is being immersed into the Spanish language going to help you learn better?
Here are key ideas to consider:
- number of students
- learning environment
- curriculum timeframe
- supplies and cost
- assessment of learning
- continued learning
- instructional time
Of course, you want to be in a class with a minimum of 10 to 15 students. One of the main reasons is that you want to have a personalized learning experience as possible.
Especially, if you’re going abroad to be immersed into the language, then you want the least amount of students in the class. Also, the number of students influences the learning environment and whether a curriculum (if any) will be met.
You want to have a clear understanding of any supplies and more costs associated with the summer immersion program. Even if you’re planning to study abroad, you might want to consider cost of trip, passport, lodging, and living costs.
More importantly, you want to consider what type of evaluations does the school administer to make sure you’re on track. Just as learning assessment is important, so it is any continuing education that you can take home.
Does the school offer educational plans for you to continue your studies in Spanish at home?
That is, it is essential to ask what type of assignments are you given to study and master Spanish. Lastly, ask about the instructional time.
To have a good understanding of the language, you need at least 3 classes of 30 minutes of more per week. In fully managing the Spanish language, you want to have an immersion program that is comprehensive and works at your pace.
Is the cost of the program a benefit in the long run?
With such a variation of the costs for summer immersion programs, it is wise to weigh the options. When you consider the price range at a school in the United States as compared to a program overseas, it might be necessary to discuss the previous points I mentioned.
Since many of these programs are long and usually are 3-4 months in length, it is important to note the cancellation and rescheduling policies. In fact, you might want to ask about the school’s customer service and technical support, if any.
You don’t want to have technical difficulties when you’re learning online or watching videos about Spanish pronunciations.
Where is the learning more effective: online or on-campus?
As you make a long-term commitment to learn Spanish in a summer immersion program, you need to ask yourself whether you want to take classes online or on-campus. If you’re thinking about online classes, then you’re going to have more time to work at your pace and individualized instruction.
Also, if you work a summer job while taking classes, taking an online class might be a good fit for you. If you’re a parent thinking about a summer immersion program for your child, an online course might work better for the family.
You and your family could work around the program during the summer. You can set your own schedule and children take classes at your leisure.
However, if you’re considering and on-campus program, then you might want to ask about class size, schedule time, and travel options.
Are college credits available for you?
Many summer immersion programs offer college credits. Take advantage of special deals, if available, to study at your local community college.
Sometimes by enrolling in a fast track or short summer session, you could get college credit for a class that you need to graduate. What’s even better is that taking a summer class immersed in Spanish could give you credits for upper level courses.
In some cases, you get credit for prerequisite courses that you need to take other classes. So, even if you do a few weeks in a summer program, it can pay off in the end when you graduate.
Will this help your teaching career?
As the end of the school year rolls by, you day to yourself that you don’t want to see another class for the next three months. But consider the benefits in the long run when you enroll in summer immersion programs.
While there is little or no professional development workshops available, enrolling in a summer class boosts your credits. You get to enjoy the summer break (some of it while you work on next year’s lessons) and earn credits for a class useful for your teaching profession.
As a bilingual teacher, you want to ask how the program can help you support ELL students in your classroom. While Spanish might not be your native language, an immersion program could help you connect with your students in the class.
Think about the teaching strategies it helps with when you communicate better with your ELL students. The possibilities are endless.
Also, when you finish the program, you rely on yourself to communicate with Spanish-speaking parents, family members, and students.
Summer is full of renewal and taking time for yourself. Perhaps, you might’ve even considered Spanish summer immersion programs for your children or yourself.
Before launching into an expensive venture, make sure you review these questions about choosing the best program for you.