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Transitioning Adult ESL Students to College

Lijun Shen demonstrates strategies to address the different needs of college-bound adult English learners Many adult learners who study English as a Second Language (ESL)...

B.O.O.S.T. Your Instruction!


Colombia, at the northwestern tip of South America, has the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico and Spain. It is ethnically diverse, and the interaction between descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, African slaves and twentieth-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East has produced a rich cultural heritage. This has also been influenced by Colombia’s incredibly varied geography. The majority of the urban centers are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but the country also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland, and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.

Founded in 1991, the EAFIT Language Center at EAFIT University in Medellin offers high quality language programs based on the communicative approach. Students can choose from classes that last two weeks, four weeks, or ten weeks. The center also offers a conversation program that provides participants with the opportunity to practice Spanish with native speakers on a one-to-one basis. The center’s cultural orientation programs also allow students to become familiar with Colombia’s diverse culture.

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La Sabana University is in Chía, right outside the capital city of Bogotá, nestled in the lush Andean mountains. A city famous for its multicultural, vibrant intellectual scene, Bogotá has long been known for its universities and its charming culture including theater festivals, world renowned museums, modern architecture and Spanish colonial neighborhoods, and Cumbia dancing. Colombia is a country rich in culture and surrounded by diverse natural landscapes including highlands, rainforests and tropical grasslands and two coasts. La Sabana offers a chance to experience this diversity and learn more about Colombian and Latin American business and economics, international relations from a Latin American perspective, and Latin American culture and society. Students can select from a range of region-specific courses including: Geo-Economic Restraints for Logistics Development in Emerging Countries, Colombia, Politics and Democracy in Latin America, From Mariachis to Samba: Culture, Politics and Society in 20th Century Latin America, Across the Andes in Search of Freedom, and Regional Trade Agreements. Students can transfer credits to their home institution.

Vive Español is a Spanish program run by Universidad de La Sabana´s Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures in Chia , Colombia. The main objective of the program is that students learn the language and improve communicative competences by working in the four language skills.

The program has eight different courses that students can choose from: General Spanish, Spanish for Tourism (conversational), General Spanish and Volunteer work, Spanish for Business Meetings, Spanish for Professionals (Business, Medicine, Law and Aviation), Tailor-made Spanish programs for companies, summer courses, and private lessons. The programs are flexible so students can choose when to start and for how many weeks.

All the facilities on campus such as the library, the university clinic, sports fields, and restaurants are shared with Spanish students. Accommodation and transportation assistance is provided by a dedicated support team. Students can take dance and culture classes at no additional cost.

The Instituto de Idiomas, located on the main campus of Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, offers a full range of intensive and semi-intensive Spanish programs. Its philosophy is to foster in students a respect for the diversity of Spanish speaking cultures and a desire to learn about them. The institute offers an intensive Spanish for Foreigners’ courses each year, as well as year-round programs tailored according to students’ needs. Each week, students spend around twenty hours in class studying grammar, reading/vocabulary, speaking/listening, and writing. Students have access to two fully-equipped language labs utilizing specialized software, a resource center, and a central library.

The Spanish for Foreigners Program combines multidisciplinary course offerings with a variety of social and cultural activities. Participants have the opportunity to become involved in intercultural exchange and understanding. Cultural activities include visits to local companies, tourist sites in Barranquilla and nearby cities such as Cartagena and Santa Marta.

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