Weston has become the multi-cultural center of South Florida. Since its early days, the city has welcomed people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Foreign born residents account for almost half of the population. It certainly has the highest percentage of Hispanic residents in Broward County. Weston has grown under the premises of an international village, where different cultures coexist in a friendly environment. A language center, owned by a Weston resident, has well understood the vibrant cultural exchange that takes place day by day in the city.
Lingua Language Center has launched several very exciting language programs that further promote such cultural exchange. There is a program for everyone, from corporate executives, to local family members, to international students. The center started offering language classes in its Weston Town Center location, but the programs have become so popular that they outgrew the location and now, Broward College hosts the immersion programs in English, Spanish and other popular foreign languages.
The success of the programs is based on their approach. Basically, they have moved from the traditional methods of grammar lectures and boring repetition that usually lead to discouragement and withdrawal to an innovative way of teaching, where entertainment is a key component in the class.
Children and adult participants alike learn by actively taking action in the fun activities that take place during the sessions, talking, role-playing, listening to music, singing, and even playing. George Trimmings, from NBC6 says, “The instructor made learning fun”.
The other factor that makes the programs so successful is the environment. They take place in an international flair ambience. If you are a participant in the Executive Spanish Immersion Boot Camp, for example, every day you go to a social lunch with one of the Spanish instructors, who are also culturally-oriented. Not only do you speak Spanish all the time with the instructor, but you choose a Spanish native speaker as your waiter during lunch. It is a real-life experience.
The Lingua Language Center enter has partnered with Broward to offer not only the Intensive English and Foreign Language Programs, but also to train businesses and organizations with industry-specialized curricula. In this case, instructors trained in the Lingua methodology travel to the organizations, where they follow a program that has been designed to satisfy the individual needs of these organizations.
Endeavors such as Lingua Language Center’s enrich life in the city. Moreover, it bridges the gap among the different peoples of the community and provides an opportunity for them to mingle and learn about each other.
By Andreina Ojeda, M.A. Modern Languages and M.A. International Studies.
President and Founder of Lingua Language Center at Broward College.