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KU offers Spanish class for Spanish speakers

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: May 10 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 10 2013 09:54:00 PM CDT

Friday may have been the last day of classes at Kutztown University but for one particular group of students it's just the beginning of a whole new experience and it all thanks to a brand new class introduced this semester.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. -

Friday may have been the last day of classes at Kutztown University but for one particular group of students it's just the beginning of a whole new experience and it all thanks to a brand new class introduced this semester.

Nancy Zimmerman an assistant professor in the department of Modern Language Studies at Kutztown University wrapped up the very first semester of the course titled 'Written and Oral Communication for Spanish Speaking Heritage Learners'.

"It took about a year to get it on the books as a class that was going to be offered more than just one semester," she said.

Zimmerman said she noticed students in some of her other classes uncomfortable with speaking the language in a professional setting.

So she developed this class in order to help those students not only reconnect with the language, but their culture.

"I'm a first generation Dominican and when they told me this class was available I decided to take it to better my vocabulary and my conjugation" said junior Miguel Castillo.

Zimmerman has students focus on communication and helps with grammar as well as fluency through presentations, group discussion and written composition.

“The one thing about this class is when they came in there and saw that this is a class of people with similar linguistic ability more or less they were so excited. Because normally there's two of them in a class and they intimidate everybody else so they have to sit there and be quiet...not now,” Zimmerman said.

The class has helped native speakers like Christina Tinoco overcome her insecurities with the language.

"I've become more comfortable talking around all Hispanics and I want to work with Spanish speaking immigrants, so I think it will be really beneficial for my career one day," said Tinoco.

Zimmerman said she'll be teaching a full class again next semester.