W.Va. students immersed in another language during Spanish Camp - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

W.Va. students immersed in another language during Spanish Camp

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – About 100 students have been putting their language skills to the test during the week-long West Virginia Spanish Language Immersion Camp.

The residential program honors and challenges Spanish students from across the state with an interdisciplinary curriculum, special events and recreational activities. The second annual event began June 26 and continues through July 2 at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley. Closing ceremonies are slated for 10 a.m. Tuesday.

"The critical importance of language learning has never been more evident than it is in today's global economy," said state Superintendent Jim Phares. "Learning foreign languages brings so much not just to our students, but to the economic prosperity, security and global presence of our state and nation."

All camp activities, seminars, performances and meals are conducted completely in Spanish. Events include authentic Latin American and Spanish activities, including sports, music and dance, as well as demonstrations to engage participants. Students also explore hands-on inquiry into multiple disciplines including sciences, social studies and the arts, while integrated and thematic-based cultural presentations introduce learners to the practices, products and perspectives of the Spanish-speaking world.

Across West Virginia, about 61,000 students studied another language besides English this past school year. Most of those, about 65 percent, were at the high school level, while about 34 percent were in middle schools and less than one percent was in elementary schools.

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