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Intercultural Language Exchange Program at Arcadia and Cotter

Intercultural Language Exchange Program at Arcadia and Cotter

For the second consecutive year, Arcadia and Cotter Schools in Winona proudly announce the success of their intercultural language exchange program. Spearheaded by Kelly Ebbesen, former Arcadia High School English as a Second Language teacher and current Spanish instructor at Cotter, this initiative has continued to bridge linguistic and cultural gaps between students learning English and Spanish.

The brainchild of Ebbesen, along with collaboration from educators Jacey Wozney, Kim Severson, Jenna Putz, and Alivia Torrez, the program pairs students from both schools for pen pal exchanges. Students at Arcadia and Cotter recently participated in intercambio (exchange) meetings, engaging in a myriad of activities to enhance language skills and foster cross-cultural understanding.

During the Intercambio meetings, students engaged in various language-learning activities, provided tours of their respective schools, and participated in games designed to promote linguistic proficiency. 

The highlight of this year's program was the students' enthusiastic participation in cultural activities. In Arcadia, students enjoyed preparing and sharing "esquites," a traditional snack comprising corn, mayonnaise, chili, cotija cheese, and lime, while engaging in conversations and games with their pen pals. Despite initial nervousness, students embraced the opportunity to connect with peers from different cultural backgrounds.

Kelly Ebbesen remarked, "The enthusiasm and engagement from students on both sides of the exchange reaffirm the value of such initiatives in fostering language acquisition and intercultural understanding." She added, "It's heartening to witness students stepping out of their comfort zones to embrace new experiences and forge lasting friendships."

The success of the intercultural language exchange program underscores its significance beyond linguistic development. By facilitating real-world, human-to-human interactions, the program cultivates empathy, respect, and appreciation for diverse cultures.

As the academic year concludes, participants eagerly anticipate the continuation of this enriching program, highlighting its enduring impact on language learning and cultural exchange.


Intercultural Language Exchange Program at Arcadia and Cotter
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