Marion High School offers visual language lab to teach Spanish - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Marion High School offers visual language lab to teach Spanish

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MARION -- Learning another language just got a little easier at Marion High School. Teachers have a new interactive program mixing audio and visual learning.

For the first year ever, Marion High School Spanish teachers can offer students a different way to learn Spanish in their state-of-the-art language lab.

"I like how we get to talk and not just read and learn from the book," says Jake Griffin.

Students can ask questions to each other and answer in Spanish. The teacher can do the same, and can record the answers.

"Because it's conversation, you get to say whatever we want to say and really dig deeper into the language," says Griffin.

Traditionally, teachers like Christy Haynes would either do one on one exercises or other activities, but not anything she could go back and assess.

"A lot of that is still in place, but the lab has opened up a door for them to be able to do more meaningful communicative activities in the classroom than we ever could before in a traditional setting," adds Haynes.

She says having this learning tool allowed 25 of her students to receive state recognition in a state literacy program for the first time. The program recognizes students who have achieved a high level of proficiency in English and in Spanish. So, if they meet college readiness standards on the SAT or ACT in English, they then take a standardized test in Spanish, those who volunteer to do so.

The tests tests them in all four domains of language use, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking and writing in Spanish. 

"This particular group, our seniors, they've only had a few months with the language lab so I'm very excited to see what this will mean for our future students," says Christy.

Haynes says she hopes the program will encourage more students to take a foreign language. 

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