Kristin, Spanish Academy Teacher

Students who attend the Academy have made the decision to learn a language as a life goal—not just as a class goal or as a core curriculum requirement.

“My name is Kristen Hanewald. I am teaching for the MIL immersion program for Spanish. The students are incredibly motivated. They already gave up their summer to come here. They gave up technology. They gave up Facebook. And they gave up their phones and their computers, which is a huge sacrifice.

“So just the fact they did that is already a sign of maturity. They've made the decision to learn of this language as a life goal, and not just as a class goal or as a core curriculum requirement. They want to learn Spanish because they want that to be something that they have for the rest of their life. Not just until they graduate and not just something that they're going to write on their resume.

“And so now they're able to really just let themselves go and just be who they want to be. And express this interest even know it's not what the majority of the kids at their class at home are doing. I get to see them really come out of their shells. And now in the third or fourth week, you can't stop them. They were really shy in the beginning, a lot of them, and now they're not holding back. They just express themselves in every way they can.

“Building confidence is one of the biggest things. To getting past that hill that you have to overcome in language learning. Because once you overcome that hill, the form will come. I see most of them going pursuing higher education, master's degrees and/or doctorate degrees. Absolutely. They're going to be the ones who are going to have an impact on research. Have an impact on the field of language acquisition and language teaching. I just can't wait to see where they'll go in the future because it's going to be amazing.”