College reaches out to community of K-12 language teachers.

Maria Amparo Yuste, deputy director Spain–U.S. Chamber of Commerce, speaks to participants.

Thirty K-12 teachers, mostly from Miami-Dade, Broward, and West Palm Beach counties, recently got expert advice about an important task: how to incorporate aspects of Spanish for international business into the standard high school Spanish curricula. Organized for the second time by the College of Business Administration’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the conference exemplifies the commitment of the 31 CIBERs nationwide to developing community outreach programs.

“The U.S. Department of Education funds CIBERs and, in our last proposal, we described this workshop under the category of programs ‘Using Languages and Technology Wisely in International Business: Improving K-12, College, and Organizational Absorption,’” said Sonia Verdu, program coordinator, who has organized the conference for two years. “We wanted to help K-12 Spanish teachers see ways they can train their students in the specialized vocabulary of Spanish for business—in the terminology of banking, accounting, human resources, import-export, real estate, office management, and sales.”

Outreach goes far beyond region.

Unlike most of the participants, who had a short drive to attend the event, which took place on September 29, 2007, at Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Theresa Glowacki traveled from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She teaches Spanish to 120 students in Greendale High School there and found out about the workshop through one of its sponsors—the University of Wisconsin’s CIBER—which funded her flight and hotel.

“I feel that I can take what the speakers presented and incorporate it in ways that make sense for my needs.”

Theresa Glowacki, teacher, Greendale High School, Milwaukee, WI

“The program has given me ideas about how a business focus could help my students,” she said. “I feel that I can take what the speakers presented and incorporate it in ways that make sense for my needs.”

Cecilia Montes Alcalá, professor, Georgia Tech, addresses fellow teachers.

Though language study is not mandatory at Greendale, Glowacki said it is highly encouraged, particularly since most of the high school’s  students go on to college, where language courses are required for admission.

Camille Villafañe Rodríguez, University of Puerto Rico; Maria Amparo Yuste, deputy director, Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Cecilia Montes-Alcalá, Georgia Tech; and Maida Watson, a member of Florida International University’s  modern languages department, spoke. Texas A&M University’s CIBER, Centro de Recursos Españoles-Consulate of Spain, and Spain–U.S Chamber of Commerce also sponsored the free event.

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