Español and English en la Comunidad

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Ohio State University. Office of Outreach and Engagement

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Our best intentions do not always align with what we think the community needs. Including the voices of the community in developing end-of-the-semester projects should be at the core of the service-learning experience. In doing so, students and community members engage in a positive relationship of work, learning and trust.


An individual's integration to the community comes in many forms. We integrate by establishing a place of residence, securing a job and finding a faith community. In the case of immigrants, another critical way to integrate is via language access. Many immigrants in the Columbus area – whatever their circumstance might be – struggle to learn English for various reasons: work schedules, family obligations, transportation, etc. Limited English proficiency often times leads to isolation, poor communication with children's teachers, employers or health care providers, and missed educational or professional opportunities. In the senior seminar course titled "Spanish in Ohio," students establish connections with community partners and gain knowledge and experience that help them prepare, in collaboration with the community, a final project. This poster presentation will provide information about how both nonprofit and private organizations can help facilitate access to English language courses to their employees. It will highlight the process and execution of a student's final project that details the benefits of providing classes at work. It will show how English classes in the workplace encourage communication between employee and higher administration, lead to job promotion as employees become more proficient, increase employee trust and self-esteem by allowing them not only to succeed in their jobs, but integrate more easily with the greater community. At the core of the service-learning experience is evaluating whether students are gaining experience while meeting a community need. This final project demonstrates the informed and inclusive decision-making process that led to the creation of the project, and the student's engagement in the community.
AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Elena Foulis, Faculty, SPPO, (Corresponding Author); Stanley Greenbolt, CEO, G-COR Automotive Corp; Ramona Reyes, Director, Our Lady of Guadalupe.


Spanish, Latinos, community


Engaged Scholars, v. 6 (2018).