The Power of Collaboration leads to ‘Spanish for Educators’ in Marinette

UW-Green Bay and the Marinette School District Unite to Promote Cultural Competency

Green Bay, Wis.—When the Marinette School District identified a need for Spanish instruction for teachers and staff, they collaborated with UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus. Regional and campus leaders have a powerful relationship and a history of collaborating on solutions-focused answers to community challenges.

In early March, Marinette School District and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus met to determine the needs of a district-wide Spanish language program and how best to structure to ensure the majority who expressed interest in enhancing their Spanish skills, could. Bethany Welch, an English Language instructor at UW-Green Bay and an active interpreter in the Marinette community, was also consulted. In collaboration, the “Spanish for Educators” curriculum was developed, which will be self-paced and offered June 28-August 20 this summer to accommodate the schedules of teachers and staff.

In particular, Welch wanted to ensure the course includes cultural competency elements, along with reasonable expectations for machine translation­—a necessary but limited tool. The online course is six weeks in duration and will build knowledge and skills by training teachers and staff with:

  • Basic Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation for conversing in the classroom and setting expectations
  • Simple words for everyday things, including survival expressions for parent-teacher conferences
  • Conversational phrases and sentences to use in the cafeteria and on the playground

“I am so excited for this opportunity and collaboration,” says Kayla Furton, English language consultant with the Marinette School District.

The Marinette School District has a growing population of Hispanic-speaking students. UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus is home to the UW Colleges’ oldest Intensive English Program and organizes English as a Second Language (ESL) classes through the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement.

To learn more about “Spanish for Educators,” visit the website at http://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/career/professional-development/ or contact Linda Hornick, Program Specialist at 715-504-3351 or hornickl@uwgb.edu.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 8,970 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 79,604 continuing education enrollees each year across all campus locations. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2020, UW-Green Bay was the fastest growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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