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02/09/2011

Overwhelming success for our "Mío Cid" Language Commitment Program

Contrato_mio_cid

Given that Language in Context students often tell me that they wish we would MAKE THEM speak Spanish more, I found myself contemplating how we could realistically do that. Obviously, neither the language professors nor myself can hold a gun to their heads to MAKE THEM speak Spanish more (or rather prohibit them from speaking English), so after some thought, I decided to create a program to offer them an incentive to speak more Spanish and give them an opportunity to improve their language skills, voluntarily. I'm pleased to introduce the brand-new "Mío Cid" Language Commitment Program for Language in Context students.

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid, is one of the most important heroes in Spanish history. A Castillian knight, he fought next to the Spanish king, Sancho de Castilla, during the Reconquest in the 11th Century. The people admired him because he was strong, loyal, just, cultured and courageous. He married Lady Jimena in 1074 and they had three children. When Sancho died, the new King Alfonso VI, who was jealous of him, banished him from the region of Castilla. A short time after that, El Cid conquered the kingdom of Valencia. He created a new justice system and restored the Christian religion, all the while respecting the Arabs that lived in the city. Legend has it that El Cid even won a battle after his death...

Students that wish to be a “Rodrigo” or a “Jimena” pledge to speak only Spanish in their language classes, attend one CIEE sponsored activity a month, meet with an intercambio on a weekly basis, and write about their experiences in the Language in context Language Class Blog. Although the program is voluntary, I am proud to announce that all 23 students have chosen to participate. You can read all about their experiences at the following link:

http://rincondecontext.blogspot.com

 

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