Wasatch Academy Students Assist Local Latinos with English Skills

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Students learning Spanish at Wasatch Academy are volunteering one evening a week to host an English conversation class for members of the local Latino community. The one-hour sessions are free of charge and open to the public.

A Wasatch Academy student (right) works with a Sanpete County resident on their English skills.

We are working to help the Latino attendees learn English so they can thrive in their work environment and the broader community.

Once a week in the historic Craighead Schoolhouse on the Wasatch Academy campus, local members of the Hispanic community join students from around the world for an English discussion class.

The class gives the Spanish-speaking population of Sanpete County an opportunity to improve their conversational English skills, while also providing practice for Wasatch Academy students learning Spanish.

Matthew Hayosh, the director of Wasatch Academy's Department of Language Studies, launched the conversation class for the community last year. The positive reception prompted him to continue the program this year.

"We work with our students so they become the teachers, and they engage the Latino student in whatever way they need. It may be preparing for their GED, speaking, writing, or reading. We are working to help the Latino attendees learn English so they can thrive in their work environments and the broader community," Hayosh said.

Including students in the planning and execution of the project underscores Wasatch Academy's commitment to service learning and a recognition that the school serves as an important anchor in the rural Sanpete County community. All Wasatch Academy students are required to do community service as part of their curriculum.

The classes are held every Thursday between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Craighead Schoolhouse, 120 S. 100 W. in Mt. Pleasant. Anyone who wants to practice their English skills is welcome to attend, regardless of skill level.

If you would like to visit the classes to interview attendees and students, please contact Josh Loftin before coming to campus.

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Josh Loftin
since: 06/2011
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