Service-learning for students of Spanish: Promoting civic engagement and social justice through an exchange tutoring service


  • Clara Burgo Loyola University Chicago



civic engagement, community-based learning, cultural awareness knowledge, second language teaching, service-learning


Service-learning courses are designed to promote civic engagement and social justice, and to connect the classroom with the community in an environment of cooperation and mutual interest. In this article, a service-learning course of Spanish at the university level is supported as a reciprocal language exchange between the campus and the community. According to this course proposal, students attend a Latino community site once a week, where their members are tutored in English and American culture, while students are tutored in Spanish and Spanish-speaking culture. This way, service-learning is connected to the Spanish classroom through “Reflection” sessions led by mentors visiting the class periodically. This course was designed so that students would be able to improve their conversation skills in this exchange tutoring service while they are involved with the community by seeing their members as equal peers.


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