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Students to Practice Language Skills Over Skype

by Heather Claypoole, staff writer

Eliot Gold, Spanish Tutor at Warren Wilson College led the field trip to Marion

If you’ve been looking for volunteer opportunities to put your Spanish speaking skills to good use, check out the new Spanish Conversation and Mentoring Program (Programa de tutoría y conversación), or SCAMP, which is headed up by Christine Swoap, Modern Languages professor, and Eliot Gold, Warren Wilson student and Social Work major.

The program aims to pair Warren Wilson participants up with a Spanish for Spanish Speakers class from McDowell High School.

Volunteers will Skype with the McDowell students once a week, spending half an hour speaking in Spanish and the other half speaking in English.

Gold said that the program will hopefully “empower the McDowell students to use their Spanish as a resource and tool and improve their performance in school; as for Wilson students, hopefully they will be empowered as mentors and role models, and improve their Spanish through talking and using the McDowell students as tutors.”

So far, SCAMP has met face-to-face with the McDowell students and Skyped with their entire class once, and will begin their one-on-one partner Skype communication in the coming weeks.

Spanish Speaking students in Marion with Warren Wilson students. Photo courtesy of Marriette Vandersluijse.

As for the benefits of the Warren Wilson participants, Josh Reiss, sophomore and Sustainable Business Major with a Spanish Minor, said of the program, “Since the Warren Wilson students are studying Spanish grammar in a classroom setting, it is hoped that they will be able to help out the high school students, in addition to helping themselves by speaking in Spanish.

“I think the opportunity will be accessible to the whole campus.”

If you feel confident in your Spanish speaking abilities and have an interest in this program, contact Eliot Gold or Christine Swoap for more information.


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