Longtime College of the Siskiyous Spanish teacher Roberto Mazariegos is adding online instruction to his course offerings. Mazariegos said this is the first time any foreign language has been taught online at COS. He sees this as a positive step for the school's enrollment and as an encouragement for students to begin foreign language instruction.

Longtime College of the Siskiyous Spanish teacher Roberto Mazariegos is adding online instruction to his course offerings.

Beginning in the spring semester 2015, students may enroll for an online Spanish I class and earn credit toward their COS Associates of Arts degree or for transfer to a California State University or to a school in the University of California system.

Mazariegos said this is the first time any foreign language has been taught online at COS. He sees this as a positive step for the school’s enrollment and as an encouragement for students to begin foreign language instruction.

His online Spanish I class will involve audio visual tools provided by the MANGO language program available through the college; he will provide the grammar instruction.

“Students will watch videos and interact with computer-generated activities involving mostly dialogue so they can watch, listen, and repeat the spoken language,” he said. The grammar lessons he will teach will help students begin to understand the language.

“Spanish I isn’t intended to produce fluency, but to understand how the language works. It’s in Spanish II that we begin to build fluency,” Mazariegos explained.

Plans are in place to offer an online Spanish II class in the fall 2015 semester, and the long-term plan is to offer both courses online every semester.

Why study Spanish?

Mazariegos noted that most colleges require students to take at least two semesters of a foreign language.

In addition, he said, knowing how to speak Spanish can mean the difference between finding a job or not, and can add 5 to 10 percent to a starting salary. Some jobs even require moderate fluency in Spanish and English, according to Mazariegos.

When he taught in the Bay Area he had many teachers in his evening classes. When he asked them why, they said it was difficult to get teaching jobs without knowing Spanish.

“One of my students here in Weed is getting ready, preparing herself for her career by learning Spanish. She told me she has friends who have had difficulty finding work because they don’t speak Spanish,” he said.

Studying Spanish is not only helpful in one’s work life, Mazariegos said, but also “learning a foreign language, like learning a musical instrument, will enhance learning in other disciplines.”

Registration for the COS spring semester is now open.

For more information about Mazariegos’ online Spanish I class or any of his other classes, contact him by email at: mazariegos@siskiyous.edu.