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LETU to Offer 15-Week Conversational Spanish Course with Duolingo Software


LeTourneau University will be offering an Introduction to Conversational Spanish, taught by Amanda Beck, for beginners or nearly beginners on Tuesdays from 4 to 4:55 p.m. beginning Jan. 13, 2015. The course is open to the public, but anyone not currently enrolled at LeTourneau must register as a special student. Contact Grant Bridgman via email at GrantBridgman@letu.edu for an application. The 15-week course costs $124 to audit for no credit and $480 to take for one hour of college credit.

The class will meet once a week for an hour for brief language instruction and to practice conversational skills. Between meetings, students will be expected to complete assigned unites of the Duolingo language-learning software which is available free online at www.duolingo.com.

Beck, LeTourneau's Study Abroad Coordinator, who has her Master's degree in Spanish from Baylor University, has used the free online language-learning program Duolingo to develop this course.

"The first week, we will get students set up with an account at the Duolingo website and practice basic Spanish introductions, and then we will spend the next 14 weeks of class developing basic conversation abilities," Beck said. "This introduction to conversational Spanish is unique because it takes something cutting edge-the Duolingo platform-and pairs it with good old-fashioned conversation practice, something that you can't get from a computer program."

The course is designed for beginners or near beginners and for those who have not had Spanish practice in a long time.

Dean of LETU's School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Larry Frazier says that for students, he hopes it will give busy students a bite-sized option for learning and practicing Spanish, especially those who do not have 3 credits in their semester to devote to Spanish study.

"We believe that this innovative and flexible approach to gaining competency in Conversational Spanish would be perfect for local businesses and organizations that need to be able to communicate with our region's growing Spanish-speaking community," Frasier said. "We look forward to developing partnerships with local businesses to provide this for their employees."

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