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Engaged Learning

Engaged learning provides students with practical experience in the use of the foreign language and the opportunity to develop cultural competence under the supervision of practicing Sponsors in different professional fields. It affords experiences that will help students attain beginning professional competence and develop self-confidence. It offers students the opportunity to test their aptitude and commitment to a field of professional activity and help clarify future career goals. In terms of general educational and performance goals, interns are expected to:

  • Become familiar with the history, purposes, methods, and problems of the Sponsor and to learn to work within its policies and procedures.
  • Learn the practical mechanics of the Sponsor's operations; e.g., the use of equipment, files, forms, and reports; and the proper approach to working with colleagues and clients.
  • Gain competence in professional skills involving the use of the target language and increased familiarization with the cultures that employ it.
  • Develop an ability to observe and listen and to strengthen communication skills in both written and oral forms in the foreign language.
  • Accept persons from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and respect various value systems and lifestyles.
  • Tolerate frustration and be flexible, adaptive, and creative.
  • Practice discipline in reporting to work on time, keeping appointments, preparing for supervisory conferences, planning and organizing work, meeting deadlines, and accepting constructive criticism as part of the learning process. Gain an understanding of the Sponsor's relationship to its community, clients and/or customers.

Learning Outcomes

Outcome 1: Linguistic Proficiency
Demonstrate linguistic competence necessary to converse with native speakers on a level that allows the student to fulfill the duties agreed upon.

Outcome 2: Professional Literacy
Summarize and explain the professional policies and practices of the community partner.

Outcome 3: Cultural Competence
Summarize and explain the main historical, social, and economic events that contributed to the community partner’s identification of the need for the services provided.

Outcome 4: Engaged Learning
Assess partner's fulfillment of the need and the quality of the service provided.

Expectations for Students

The specific nature of the internship will depend on the sponsoring entity and its needs. A successful internship requires that the Sponsor provide a meaningful experience for the student by allowing him or her to understand clearly the role of the professional in that setting, and that the intern provide assistance to the Sponsor. Potential activities in which students may be involved include but are not limited to:

  • Rendering translating and/or interpreting services.
  • Assisting in community outreach or service program.
  • Assisting in the planning, development, and evaluation of materials and programs.
  • Participating in training programs and staff meetings.
  • Observing and studying the organization and management of the Sponsor, paying special attention to the techniques of administration it employs in providing goods and services to its public.
  • Assisting other professionals in achieving the Sponsor’s goals.
  • Preparing, editing, and presenting information for the media; assisting in public relations and informational campaigns.
  • Sitting in on meetings; conducting intakes and interviews; managing casework.
  • Developing pamphlets, exhibits, posters, or library resources; preparing newsletters, brochures, or information packets addressing Sponsor’s activities.
  • Participating in fund raising, membership drives, and proposal writing activities.
  • Assisting with networking, referral, and inter-agency coordination of activities.
  • Assisting with needs assessment; proposing plans, programs, and actions for addressing identified needs.

Placement with a Sponsor

To be eligible to begin an internship, student first be accepted into the MA, and complete an application form (Appendix A) before registering for an internship.

Each student will meet with the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss the possible placement sites for the internship and the selection of a faculty member to serve as faculty supervisor. The placement will be determined by the Sponsor’s needs, the student's professional interests and goals, and the advisor's assessment of student's potential to be a successful intern. Students must come to the meeting prepared to discuss the professional area(s) in which they are most interested and the type of Sponsor for which they most wish to work. The acceptance of an intern candidate is solely at the discretion of the Sponsor.