Learning Spanish in the heart of Spain


Jillian Sanders

Spanish three and beyond students have the opportunity to travel to Sevilla, Spain this summer as a part of Texas Tech University’s study abroad program.

Katie Brucher, Staff Reporter

A regular school day only allows students to learn Spanish for 45 minutes. After the allotted class time, students go back to their English speaking lives, not to think about Spanish until they return to class the next day. However, Spanish teacher Seth Sartain is hoping to offer an alternative as he has set up a summer trip to Spain which will allow students to immerse themselves in the Spanish culture and allow them to learn the language in a way a classroom couldn’t provide.

“it’s about a two and a half week trip to Spain,” Sartain said. “It will be during the first two weeks of July. Students will attend class with me and I will teach a Spanish course and in the afternoon we will go on various excursions.”

The trip is part of a college program.

“The program is actually a program through Texas Tech that they have had for over a decade,” Sartain said. “They know all of the host families and they have the facilities that they would use, so it’s kinda cool that we are able to tap into their network that they already have well established so I hope it will be good for our Lovejoy kids.”

Although Sartain is in his first year at the high school, he has a lot of experience with study abroad programs.

“I went to Texas Tech and I participated in the same program,” Sartain said. “I went to Spain and stayed with a host family there. I was kind of a study abroad junky at Tech and I studied abroad multiple times in addition to this one. I actually worked in the study abroad office promoting studying abroad to other students as well.”

This isn’t the first time the school has tried to get a study abroad program together.

“There was another study abroad program that we were trying to put together and it didn’t work out here at Lovejoy, and so I just emailed some of the people that I met while working out there and we started to put this together,” Sartain said.

The program will be scheduled, but the students will have the opportunity to see Spain for themselves.

“There will be scheduled free time,” Sartain said. “We will have scheduled activities but I understand that they should have the opportunity to be on their own for some time.”

The program will allow students to learn in a way a classroom couldn’t provide.

“This opportunity will benefit the students in many ways,” Spanish teacher Mallin Hernandez said. “First they will be in a country where you can’t speak anything but Spanish. The program that they are trying to get into is not like a tour, they are going into homes. They will be living with a family that does not speak English, that does not have anything American-like, so they have to speak the language and get involved in the culture. This experience will greatly help the students in their journey to become fluent in Spanish.”

Students are excited about the opportunity to further their learning in Spain.

“I feel like this trip would allow me to be fully immersed in the Spanish culture because I would be living in a host home for over two weeks where I would have no other option than to speak Spanish, which is great,” sophomore Sophie Herran said. “I would be able to connect to the language more because I would understand the culture and why people do and say things in the ways they do.”