Volunteering in a Short-Term English Immersion Program for Spanish-Speaking Adults This article describes English immersion programs in Spain, where native English speakers volunteer as conversation partners and informal tutors for native Spanish speakers. These Spaniards are at an intermediate skill level in English and wish to improve their oral/aural communication. The most well-known immersion programs, VaughanTown and Pueblo Ingles, are ... Article
Article  |   May 01, 2013
Volunteering in a Short-Term English Immersion Program for Spanish-Speaking Adults
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shari Salzhauer Berkowitz
    Mercy College, School of Health and Natural Sciences Communication Disorders Program, Dobbs Ferry, NY
  • Disclosure: Shari Salzhauer Berkowitz was a volunteer participant in Pueblo Ingles programs in 2007 and 2012. She received a giftcard incentive to attend a future Spanish immersion program (as yet unused). She has no other paid or unpaid association with any of the immersion providers.
    Disclosure: Shari Salzhauer Berkowitz was a volunteer participant in Pueblo Ingles programs in 2007 and 2012. She received a giftcard incentive to attend a future Spanish immersion program (as yet unused). She has no other paid or unpaid association with any of the immersion providers.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / International & Global / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   May 01, 2013
Volunteering in a Short-Term English Immersion Program for Spanish-Speaking Adults
SIG 17 Perspectives on Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders, May 2013, Vol. 3, 34-48. doi:10.1044/gics3.1.34
SIG 17 Perspectives on Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders, May 2013, Vol. 3, 34-48. doi:10.1044/gics3.1.34

This article describes English immersion programs in Spain, where native English speakers volunteer as conversation partners and informal tutors for native Spanish speakers. These Spaniards are at an intermediate skill level in English and wish to improve their oral/aural communication. The most well-known immersion programs, VaughanTown and Pueblo Ingles, are approximately 1 week in duration and take place at resorts in Spain, where only English is spoken for the duration of the program. These programs are run by for-profit companies, which do not release any data on the Spanish participants' immediate or long-term progress as a result of the immersion. It is, therefore, difficult to know if the short-term immersion programs produce long-lasting changes in participants' language and speech perception or production. However, the cultural exchange that takes place among the various cultural groups is extremely rich, and many international friendships are formed on these programs. Anecdotal information shows that Spaniards and English-speaking volunteers report great satisfaction with the programs, and many attend more than once. The author offers suggestions regarding volunteering on these immersion programs and for replicating the programs with the addition of collecting objective evidence.

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