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Students to Immerse Themselves in the Spanish-Speaking World During West Virginia's Spanish Camp

June 25, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Students from across the state will put their language skills to the test during the week-long West Virginia Spanish Language Immersion Camp (WVSLIC) at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley, WV. The third annual event supported by the West Virginia Department of Education begins today, June 25 and extends through July 1.

The camp is a residential language education program in which two Spanish language students from each West Virginia county will communicate solely in Spanish while immersed in camp activities featuring an interdisciplinary curriculum, special events and recreational activities.

Capital High School senior, Katie Mills, participating in the camp for a third consecutive year said, “Spanish has been one of my favorite subjects during high school. Coming to the camp has made me love it even more.”

Students who attend the camp are chosen through an application process that includes specific criteria and a recommendation from their current Spanish teacher. Camp residents are called embajadores (ambassadors) and are de-facto language ambassadors for studying world language and developing global competency skills.

"The critical importance of language learning has never been more evident than it is in today's global economy," said state Superintendent Jim Phares. "Learning world languages brings so much not just to our students, but to the economic prosperity, security and global presence of our state and nation."

West Virginia teachers will be joined by international educators from Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela and Spain to engage students in Latin American and Spanish activities. Together, the WVSLIC educators use an authentic hands-on program that incorporates practices, products and perspectives of the Spanish-speaking world. “It’s like going to another country right here in West Virginia,” said a camp embajador.

Upon returning to school in the fall, camp embajadores will be designated as Youth Ambassadors in their own schools.  The Youth Ambassadors will serve as role models for their peers, demonstrating the importance of possessing a positive disposition towards other languages and cultures.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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