A professor from the University of Houston-Victoria’s partner university in Cuernavaca, Mexico, has traveled to UHV this semester to teach Spanish to area community members and students.
Salome Chavarria, who teaches linguistics and methods for teaching English as a Second Language at the Universidad Internacional, is working with 17 students in three sections of Oral and Written Communication I offered in Victoria and Sugar Land.
“They are very interested in learning and improving their Spanish in this global market,” Chavarria said about her students. “They are very enthusiastic.”
Chavarria’s semester in Victoria is part of UHV’s partnership with Rector Javier Espinosa, president of the Universidad Internacional, to develop programs that will increase the international skills of students, faculty and staff at both universities.
The classes, started at UHV this semester, are geared toward those with some Spanish-language experience. Students in the classes receive either academic or continuing education credit.
Chavarria also will teach the same course in Victoria and Sugar Land during UHV’s second eight-week spring session that begins March 10. The class will be offered from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays in Victoria and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays in Sugar Land.
“We want to offer these classes for the community as a way to get people to learn another language and another culture, which will give them a better understanding of our globally interconnected society,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “Our partnership with Universidad Internacional is paying dividends for all of us.”
Chavarria started taking English classes in elementary school and became fascinated with learning a foreign language. She still is studying English and is in the process of studying for her Certificate in Advanced English, a certification for English teachers, from the University of Cambridge.
“Speaking a foreign language opens up your opportunities in the world,” she said. “Knowing English has opened many doors for me.”
She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1992 from the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos in Cuernavaca and then came to the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., as a Spanish professor. She decided to stay and received her master’s degree in teaching languages in 1997 from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has worked in numerous jobs teaching English and Spanish and editing and translating publications.
Chavarria had never been to Victoria before arriving here last month. She came to Victoria after Vic Padelford, UHV director of international programs and special projects, contacted the Universidad Internacional about sending a visiting instructor of Spanish.
Chavarria said she is impressed with UHV.
“People have been very friendly, very helpful so far,” she said. “They have supported me.”
UHV also is planning to offer a UHV certificate in Spanish for Professional Purposes starting this summer. The certificate will involve those interested taking 15 credit hours of Spanish in face-to-face classes, online and by studying abroad at the Universidad Internacional or in Spain.
For more information about Oral and Written Communication I or to register for the class, call Tracey Fox, senior recruiting coordinator for the UHV School of Arts and Sciences, at (361) 570-4233 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.