12 Replies to “A Model for Campus Collaborations: Considerations for Spanish Heritage Success (Lina Reznicek-Parrado, Adrienne Gonzales)”

  1. Dr. Reznicek-Parrado, Dr. Gonzales, thank you very much for your presentation. I enjoyed learning about this collaboration and I think it is something that could be implemented in many institutions. My question is: what were some common challenges that tutors faced when working with heritage speakers?

  2. Hi Marina, thanks for much for your comment. Many tutors have not necessarily had the experience of collaborating with peers in this set-up previously to working with us, so I would say that tutors often feel a certain amount of pressure to “tutor correctly”–that is to say, to “know the answers”, or to “help students get a better grade”. I think what we try to do is to really communicate that tutors are not copy-editors, nor are they instructors or experts, but instead they are meant to support the writing process for their peers as just that, another peer. Essentially, tutors are already doing their job by doing a type of “acompañamiento”–bouncing off ideas, helping students talk through assignment expectations, and sometimes even talking about other related issues with tutees (sometimes students might end up talking about what classes to take, how to address a professor if there is an issue, etc.)–which is all ok and great! I think this is a conversation I have many times with tutors, and often I have to have the same conversation with students who sometimes are frustrated that they get points off for something “the tutor didn’t tell me to change”. It is a process…

  3. Thank you for the presentation. Two questions,
    1. How do you plan to monitor/measure the impact of your model on students and tutors (if you already have a plan)?
    2. In Mario’s case English-Spanish comparisons are mentioned. Are you planning to integrate any training on English/Spanish literacy transfer for your tutors?

    1. Thank you for your questions, Alberta! To address your first question, in addition to qualitative data gathered from surveys from both students and tutors, we are gathering student work (first and finals drafts of their writing assignments) for later analysis about the impact of this intervention on development of writing skills. We haven’t yet begun to work with those data, since first we have been focusing on program design and addressing the logistical challenges that were presented by covid. We had to pivot to running the tutoring component of the curriculum via an online modality but will hopefully be able to focus on that soon!

      As for your second question, we do not plan to integrate explicit information about English/Spanish literacy transfer in the tutor training. However, L1-L2 comparisons always seem come up organically in tutor training discussions. I’d welcome your thoughts or suggestions about how this content might contribute to their training!

      1. My team and I are just staring to look at the relationship between literacy in the two languages. We will have some analysis a year from now, But from a previous study on writing proficiency of HLLs, we could see that for those writers rated Intermediate (ACTFL prof scale), one of the major impediments to be rated at Advanced was the inability to construct paragraphs, and it bothers me that I don’t know if they can do this in English or not.

  4. Excellent presentation. Thank you so much for this.

    Do you also have heritage speakers working as tutors for L2 students? In my experience, heritage speakers often gain a lot of confidence when they are able to be in the “expert” role. This seems like it might be something great for heritage speakers to do after (or even during/before?) they complete the heritage courses offered at DU.

  5. Hi David, thanks for your question. And absolutely!!! We hope to focus our attention and energy into recruiting heritage speakers. This is a process, of course, especially at an institution that has small numbers of HLs as well as considering the fact that the program is quite new. Our hope and dream is to eventually have a team of HL tutors that can continue doing this work throughout their academic trajectory with us, and certainly beyond! I agree with you that the benefits of this academic/professional experience are huge especially for heritage students, though they have also shown very positive for L2s.

  6. Hola Lina and Adrienne: Gracias por la excelente presentación. It sounds like you are actually starting a whole new training program! I wonder if Spanish graduate students (TFs and TAs) could also benefit from the trining you are providing. Gracias!

  7. Hola María, y gracias por tu comentario 🙂 I think this would be appropriate for advanced students such as grad students though there is a component of “peer-to-peer” that I think is important to consider. In other words, we believe this set-up works so well because there is an absence of power authorities—perhaps if the TFs or TAs did not teach the students in the class this would work (for example, if they were hired by the language center primarily and had no other interactions with students). Even still though, the fact that they are “more advanced” students I think may interrupt the peer-to-peer component and the potential of this third space.

  8. Thank you for the presentation! I have many questions, if you have a moment:

    1) You mentioned that the tutors were “native-speaking” advanced, but then later mentioned an L2 tutor. Are any of the tutors native/Spanish-dominant? (And what criteria did the L2 tutors have to meet?)
    2) How did you “recruit” the tutees? Or did they walk in?
    3) Were the tutees enrolled in Spanish courses? HS courses?
    3) Related to the question above, did the pairs work on any class assignments, or only the proyectos created for this study?

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