New hybrid Spanish course to hold showcase

Emily Moran

The Spanish hybrid language lab came to Kent State as a pilot course offered to students back in fall 2011 and spring 2012. After almost two years in the making, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies will showcase the Spanish hybrid language lab from 4-5:30 p.m., Friday in room 122 of Bowman Hall.

The Spanish hybrid program is a course that integrates lab work and face-to-face interaction into a language course. Students are expected to complete weekly online assignments, in addition to attending class twice a week. The hybrid course is offered for Elementary Spanish I and Elementary Spanish II only, at this time. No other language at the university currently utilizes this type of course.

The Spanish hybrid language lab is located in Bowman Hall, Room 122. The lab has approximately 45 computers and has the ability to record activities in the lab. Luis Hermosilla, Ph.D., coordinator of the hybrid program and associate professor, said the program is in need of some “tweaks,” but people will like it. He said overall, the effectiveness of the program is working.

Hermosilla said the course allows students to work at their own pace and lets students interact with other students as well as lab instructors.

Hermosilla said during the pilot course sections in fall 2011 and spring 2012, 93 percent of students approved of the course.

“The grades have not gone down compared to the traditional course,” Hermosilla said.

Hermosilla said the hybrid program helps contribute to skills students will need in the real world. Students will still use the Nexos textbook, just as the traditional course does, he said, and the test questions vary but are generally the same as they would be with a traditional course.

“Kent State University is one of the very few institutions, if not the only one, to offer hybrid courses with the lab component incorporated in the weekly hours,” Hermosilla said.

Victoria Chavez, graduate translation major, said she has received positive feedback from students about the structure of the hybrid lab course compared to the traditional Spanish course.

“The lab structure offers more variety; students spend time in the lab learning the material so they can use it well in the face-to-face class the next day,” Chavez said.

Christopher Madsen, senior geology major, said he would recommend the hybrid course to students who can handle simple computer applications and are looking for another format of teaching besides the traditional language courses. He said he liked that the course allows him to do some of the work at home.

“The teachers are typically, very understanding of student’s complications with the program and difference in student development, when compared to typical language classes,” Madsen said.

The showcase is free and open to the public. It will feature entertainment and food as well as special guest, Juan Manuel Lopez, Consul General of Spain.

“Anyone who is interested in taking a Spanish course at Kent should visit the showcase because it will be a good introduction to the way the hybrid program works,” Chavez said.

Contact Emily Moran at [email protected].