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Getting in touch with Costa Rica

Posted: Thursday, Oct 11th, 2012

Spanish students participating in a Pen Pal Letter Exchange include back, from left, Loreena Perry, Caitlyn Drietz, Alycia Rose, Marisa Hare, Daniel Vazquez, Paige Dexter and Mrs. Amanda Tuchscherer. Front, Rhean Sundermeyer, Amy Sanderson, Keri Johnson, Karli Latham, Adonah Tayrus. Not pictured is David Silva.

The students at the Flandreau Public School are accustomed to learning their new skills in a variety of different manners. This year, the Spanish III and Spanish IV classes are using a new technique to sharpen their language skills.

Amanda Tuchscherer, the instructor of the two Spanish classes at FPS, traveled down to Costa Rica this past summer where she studied at the COSI language school. She brought back a better understanding of the Spanish language as well as a new friend.

Tuchscherer stayed with a lady named Alba while in Costa Rica. The two got along great and have stayed in touch. While she was down there, Tuchscherer said that Alba spoke of how much she loved hearing from everybody that had stayed with her over the years from different areas of the world. She loved learning about the different cultures of her visitors and said that she stays in touch with all of them.

That is when Tuchscherer decided it would be a great experience for the students of her more advanced Spanish classes to use Alba as a Pen Pal.

“The students are very excited to use their Spanish in a real-world way and really enjoyed writing to her last week,” Tuchscherer said about the opportunity.

This is the first time that any of Tuchscherer’s classes have used a pen pal in order to sharpen their Spanish skills.

“My hope is that they will see that learning a language is more than just memorizing lists of vocabulary words or grammar rules.”

It seemed to work to this point.

“I really enjoy learning Spanish and think it’s great that we can show what we know to someone who actually speaks Spanish,” Keri Johnson, a junior in Tuchscherer’s class said about the experience.

Getting to write letters to someone who actually lives in a Spanish speaking country is really exciting because we get to use everything we learned in the past few years of Spanish class and put it to use,” said Amy Sanderson, another junior who has been given the opportunity to write letters to Alba.

Tuchscherer hopes to use pen pals more in the future and hopes to utilize few different people she knows from Mexico and Guatemala.

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