Registration is officially open for the 2nd annual University of Sioux Falls Spanish Immersion Day, an event for high school students hosted by USF and held jointly on USF’s campus and at Sonia Sotomayor Spanish Immersion Elementary School on Friday, March 2.

It’s more important than ever to learn Spanish because language trends reveal that South Dakota’s Beadle County is among the Top 10 fastest-growing counties by Latino population outside the South since 2007[1], and the Hispanic population in the U.S. is the nation’s largest ethnic minority, constituting 17 percent of the nation’s total population.[2]

Cooking, dancing, crafts, games, and of course, interaction with other Spanish speakers are all part of the day. The event gives high school students from across the state an opportunity to be immersed in Spanish while having fun, engaging in hands-on activities, learning about a variety of topics and meeting Spanish students from other schools. 

"After such a great response to our first event last spring, I decided to raise the bar by partnering with Sonia Sotomayor and increasing capacity so that more students could attend this year,” said Sarah Sinnott, assistant professor of Spanish at USF, who organized the event.

At USF the high schoolers will attend volunteer-led cultural demonstrations, share in an authentic lunch and interact with college students studying the language. At Sonia Sotomayor the students will experience what it is like to attend an immersion school and interact with the students and teachers there. Additionally, the event will include an art and poetry competition.

“Sonia Sotomayor Elementary School is eager to welcome area high school students into our school for a day of immersion in the Spanish language,” said Jaclyn Lange, a representative from the school.  “Students will learn about immersion education, practice their own speaking and listening skills and visit with native speakers from numerous Spanish-speaking countries.”

Registration is $25 per student, and the fee covers all activities and lunch. All teachers attend for free.

Each school is limited to 10 student participants. Students at all levels of Spanish are encouraged to attend.

To register email Sarah Sinnott at sarah.sinnott@usiouxfalls.edu.

[1] http://www.pewhispanic.org/2016/09/08/latino-population-growth-and-dispersion-has-slowed-since-the-onset-of-the-great-recession/

[2] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045216

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