SCSD Bilingual Certificate Program Partners with School in Costa Rica

Communication Science and Disorders students have partnered with Costa Ballena school in Costa Rica to provide web-based instruction to Spanish-English speaking children.  

Eleven FSU students enrolled in the Bilingual Services Certificate program in SCSD have been participating in online instruction with the children. They meet with the children twice a week throughout the course of the semester. In their sessions, FSU students use story-book creation and personal narratives in order to practice language facilitative techniques. Additionally, they use online tools and games to help increase literacy and reading comprehension skills. The partnership is intended to foster cultural humility between the US-based students and the children in Costa Rica. Doctoral students in the Leadership in Language and Literacy program are also working on the project to study culturally responsive practices and outcomes of the web-based instruction. 

Fourth year SCSD student Emily Abreu got involved with the program through the Bilingual Services Certificate program. The certificate focuses on equipping SCSD students with the skills they need to work effectively with dual-language learners. Through the Bilingual Services Practicum, Emily had the opportunity to work with students in real-time, applying the skills she learned in her classes. “Language and communication are a HUGE part of someone’s traditions and cultural identity,” said Abreu. “Being in this bilingual practicum has been an experience that has really resonated with me because as a student of Hispanic background and being a dual-language learner myself, as a professional, I am now better equipped to help those in my community. Additionally, I am super grateful that I was able to foster such an amazing relationship with my student and hopefully, I made a positive impact on their love of reading, learning, and writing!”  

Hands-on experiences like these are fundamental for SCSD students like Emily to apply the knowledge they are learning in classrooms. Additionally, it gave the students in Costa Rica the opportunity to improve their English through proven interventions. “Not only were FSU CSD students able to learn and apply ethical & evidence-based practices when conducting intervention methods; but the participating children in the study were able to receive these services and improve their literacy skills through fun; yet, educational activities,” Abreu told CCI. “As professionals, we set the tone for how these children will approach literacy in the future and if we are able to equip them with the tools to be successful in another language, they can foster these methods inside and outside of school. Early literacy skills are always important because they eventually affect one’s language abilities and communication skills; and as we know, these are essential!”  

To read more about the Communication Science and Disorders program, click here.