Spanish Club plans to incorporate Amity program

Foreign teachers arranged to arrive at Park


Profe Chistrainsen stands in front of her classroom addressing her students. Spanish Club meets once a month.

Lukas Levin

Sophomore Park Spanish Immersion graduate Izzy Kanne said she finds learning about cultures from foreign educators deeply gratifying and fascinating.

“(I would want to) make food or (learn) dances from (the amities) native country, or maybe a craft that’s common from Spain or Colombia. That would be cool,” Kanne said.

According to The Amity Institute, the Amity program is an internship for student teachers to study abroad in America. It help facilitate language learning inside the classroom, earning experience toward a teaching career. The students call these instructors amities.

Part-time adviser and Spanish Club host Profe Kirsten Christiansen said the club had difficulty arranging for the teachers to come to a meeting but would still like for them to get involved in the curriculum.

“The amities would like to come over and interact with students here and we were just coming up on Spanish Club meeting, they were invited to that one. It turned out they had a conflict and couldn’t come to that one,” Christiansen said. “I don’t know if they will come specifically for Spanish Club, or we’ll arrange some other sort of event for them to interact with the students.”

Kanne said the amities provide amusing ways of understanding the culture one may not be able to get anywhere else.

“I’ve had experiences with the past amities and they usually have really cool stories to tell about their country. They have cool recipes and native things to their cultures and countries that aren’t commonly found here, even in an immersion school or ESP program,” Kanne said.

Sophomore Emma Tight said she enjoys when the amities visit her classrooms. They provide a connection some of the more experienced Spanish teachers may not be able to provide.

“I really liked having the amities at PSI. Since they’re closer to our age they’re a lot easier to relate to,” Tight said.

Christensen said bringing back native Spanish speakers for students who have had similar experiences at PSI allows them to learn and absorb a culture through various engaging personas and teachers.

“I think one thing is that, especially the students who have gone through the PSI program and the ESP program, they’re used to having those interactions with the native speakers and I think it’s great to preserve that,” Christensen said. “It’s just nice to have young relatable Spanish speakers around so that a variety of students get a chance to know them and experience culture through their eyes.”