Students Gain Confidence in Spanish Conversation Through Video Interviews

For many students, learning to converse in a foreign language can be intimidating.

To promote conversational speaking, Spanish teacher Mrs. Gisela Cordero-Cinko has found a way for her classes to gain real life experience right from the classroom.

Cordero-Cinko has been utilizing the TalkAbroad application to organize conversations between her students and a native Spanish speaker via video conference. The website was originally designed for college students to get a “study abroad” experience without spending the money, but Cordero-Cinko saw the opportunity for high school students to gain the same opportunity.

Her sophomore and junior level classes have spoken to individuals from both Spain and Ecuador. The students received background information on the individuals and prepared interview questions, with the idea that they might have to ask follow-up questions on the fly.

“The main goal is to gain experience and have more confidence in their ability to communicate in a second language,” Cordero-Cinko said. “The students are able to see that, even with their limitations, they were able to converse and negotiate to understand each other.”

During these video conferences, the CBA students found mutual interests with their Spanish-speaking interviewees, including a love for soccer.

With the second semester just beginning, Cordero-Cinko has planned more opportunities for her students to continue to gain experience conversing in Spanish.

“Mrs. Cordero-Cinko is very eager to innovate and is always open to trying new things for her students’ benefit,” Associate Principal Sean Nunan said. “Connecting with native speakers brings to life the lessons that these students learn about world language and culture in a way that will stay with them long after the bell rings at the end of the class period. This lesson is a great example of the work done throughout the World Language department at CBA to enrich our students academically, culturally and personally.”

Watch one of Cordero-Cinko’s classes on the video conference below.

About Christian Brothers Academy:
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) is a private, Catholic, academic preparatory school for boys located in Lincroft, New Jersey. Founded in 1959 and taught in the Lasallian tradition, CBA is dedicated to helping students become intellectually mature and morally responsible leaders for society. Through the combined efforts of the Office of Advancement and friends of the Academy, CBA awards over $1.75 million in scholarships and financial aid to current students. Experience the Academy at