More Than a Train Ride! Consultants Communicating in the Charlotte Community

This panel is integrated by one instructor of record and two communication consultants. The Communication Consultant program is an extra language support for students in a fifth-semester Spanish course.
Testing the level of student engagement and providing challenges in a low-stress environment is an opportunity that communication consultants have while working closely with former instructors. The validation of the student's experience is equally important as the feedback provided to the instructor.
This session will present the community-based project More Than a Train Ride as a crucial part of the curriculum for the course.
Language Communication Consultants allowed students in the course to practice the language and discuss their impression, curiosity, or frustration with community-based project assignments in private sessions one-on-one before presentations or essay submissions.
The language consultants will present their experiences with working with students from the diverse population in terms of background and language skills. Each consultant had different challenges within the class and its population dynamic.
Experience working on my own station and how I used it to help support the students throughout their own experience with the project.
Have the same workload experience as the students and be able to offer
Created a smooth transition into my role as a consultant

Advantages and disadvantages of having taken 3202 the semester before and how it contributed to myself as a consultant
Having prior knowledge of the flow of the class and as well as having experienced some of the materials beforehand.
It helped me be more comfortable and prepared when in consultation with students about the materials discussed in class.
E-tandem and Heritage speakers through the consultations
Also, participating in the E-tandem portion of the class helped me further develop my speaking skills while making long-distance connections with other Hispanic students also attending a university.
Being a heritage speaker through consultations had its pros and cons
Pros: Feeling comfortable about being able to easily communicate with students regardless of their level of proficiency with either of the languages, which in return created a level of trust between the students and me, which increase consultation engagement
Cons: Created a distance with some of the heritage and native speakers in the course because of how proficient they already were with the Spanish language.
How consultations with students were reflected in compositions/ projects throughout the semester
Being able to witness the students' growth with the language and their understanding of the core lessons of the class.

Chair: Susana Cisneros