We are pleased to announce further collaborations with the Center for Social Concerns (CSC). Our collaborations began in 2011 when the CSC co-developed a pilot English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Notre Dame. A critical part of the program required students to learn English in the field; more specifically, students applied their English skills in the context of volunteering in the local community. The CSC’s Assistant Director and Director of Community-Based Learning, Connie Snyder, and Director of Community Partnerships and Service Learning, Annie Cahill Kelly, developed and organized this service-learning component of the program. Our relationship with the CSC continues with the CSC’s Rachel Parroquin, the Director of Spanish Community Based Learning (also Professor of Spanish for Romance Languages and Literatures). We collaborate on ongoing Spanish language and culture initiatives that engage Notre Dame students in local Spanish community.
In fall 2013, we began discussions with Rachel Tomas Morgan, the Director of International Service Learning and Justice Education at the CSC, on ways our respective programs could support each other. Since both centers have study abroad programs in which students either learn or teach languages, it was evident that we could exchange expertise in the areas of foreign language acquisition and intercultural training. We are sharing our pedagogical expertise by offering language acquisition training to undergraduate students accepted into the CSC’s International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP). The ISSLP program incorporates English as a foreign language teaching in target countries. In April, Rachel Tomas Morgan will conduct a weekend workshop on cross-cultural training with our Summer Language Abroad (SLA) Grant awardees to maximize their linguistic and cultural experience.