For several years the Department of Spanish Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and the University in the High School (UHS) Program at the University at Albany have organized a language and culture immersion day for high school students. Bethlehem seniors in the UHS Advanced Spanish class that is offered at BCHS, along with a select group of juniors in Intermediate Spanish are invited to participate. The group gets the chance to interact with each other as well as with university professors and native speakers on the college campus.
The students are encouraged to speak only Spanish from the time they get on the bus until they return to BCHS. It is a valuable experience that gives the students the opportunity to communicate in Spanish in unfamiliar settings and situations, reinforce teamwork skills, and get to know other program students from around the state.
This year, the BCHS group participated in a variety of activities at UAlbany. The activities included an “Amazing Race” around the campus where the tasks were grammar challenges to be completed as a team, a contest of cultural knowledge, interactions with native speakers, a dance demonstration and mini-lesson, informal conversations with the university professors, and a spelling bee in Spanish. Junior Jack Newell won the spelling bee.
“Our students represented our district well and left the immersion day more motivated,” said teacher Teresita Barcia.
The UHS program offers Bethlehem students the opportunity to earn up to 8 college credits in Spanish by enrolling in courses available to eligible juniors and seniors.
Thank you our World Language Department for organizing this learning experience for our students!