"My participation in the program has had a large impact on my life both
personally and professionally. The program provided a medium for
personal growth and taught me valuable language skills that will
continue to be a valuable skill in my future as a PA."
--Lauren Temmer, Red Rocks Physician Assistant Program Fall 2007 participant
The cornerstone of the Somos Hermanos Student Immersion Programs is intensive, one-on-one language instruction. Classes are one-on-one and teacher-student pairs are rotated throughout the course of the program so that the students are exposed to a variety of teaching styles and idiosyncrasies in accent and style. This also keeps classes interesting and engaging for both students and teachers.
Somos Hermanos partners with two family-run Spanish schools in Quetzaltenango. Both Spanish schools are accredited by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education, and INGUAT, the Guatemalan tourist board. All language instructors are university-trained and certified in teaching Spanish as a Second Language, with specialties in all areas of grammar for all levels of students (from absolute beginners to advanced students). The Spanish schools that we partner with have been chosen according to careful criteria and provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for students during their stay in Guatemala.
For the 6-Month Immersion Program, language instruction is divided into three phases. During the first phase (9 weeks), participants study one-on-one 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Following the trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, and Spring/Fall Break, students resume classes in a group setting during the second phase of the program (6 weeks). During this second phase, participants volunteer full-time with community organizations and participate in group discussion classes which specifically focus on medical Spanish and patient-provider interactions. Students then engage in a two-week delegation to El Salvador and return for four more weeks of coursework (Phase 3). During this third phase, classes are again one-on-one for 4 hours per day, 5 days per week, and students complete a thesis in Spanish on the topic of their choice related to Latin America, immigration, health care, etc.
Overview of Language Instruction Phases
(6-Month Immersion Program)
- Phase 1 (9 weeks): 4 hours a day, 5 days a week
- Trip to Oaxaca, Mexico (1 week)
- Spring/Fall Break (1 week)
- Phase 2 (6 weeks): Weekly group discussion classes, Full-time volunteer projects
- Trip to El Salvador (2 weeks)
- Phase 3 (4 weeks): 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, Completion of a thesis in Spanish on the topic of choice relating to Latin America, immigration, health care, or other relevant issues.
Language instruction during the 6-Week Summer Program entails one-one-one instruction for 4 hours per day, 5 days per week throughout the entire duration of the program. As students are expected to have some foundation in the Spanish language, these courses are designed to enable students to sharpen their conversation skills and focus on patient-provider interactions and medical terminology.