Why International Experience is a Vital Part of Higher Education in the 21st Century, and How to Make It Work for American Students
This case study was conducted through ethnographic research in which observations were made over the course of one year in one classroom at an international high school. These observations were supplemented by formal interviews with native Spanish speaking students (5), native English speaking students (2), faculty and staff from the same high school. This research proved that native Spanish speaking ELLs are very aware of the importance of learning English as a second language and the advantage they will have in the job market as bilingual graduates. They did not feel as though they were jeopardizing their Spanish culture or that English was being forced upon them. These, however, are the experiences of ELLs living and attending school in a community dominated by the Dominican culture and the Spanish language. These findings may have been different if the same study was conducted in a community in which native Spanish speaking students are not the majority.