Community Service Learning

What is Community Service Learning?

Community Service Learning (CSL) is an educational approach that integrates service in the community with intentional learning activities. Within effective CSL efforts, members of both educational institutions and community organizations work together toward outcomes that are mutually beneficial.
~ Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning

Community Service Learning @ Western aims to connect classroom with community in a way that is mutually beneficial to all participants:students, faculty, and community partners. We believe the community can contribute in multiple and meaningful ways to student learning objectives. In addition, Western students can contribute knowledge and skills toward developing sustainable solutions for community-identified needs. At Western, we provide a variety of experiential learning opportunities that give students important opportunities for practical application of classroom learning. CSL courses offer additional benefits to students such as increased sense of civic engagement and the chance for their academic work to make a positive impact in local and global communities.

CSL offers a number of valuable benefits to students, including:

  • Meaningful connections to local and international communities
  • Context to apply academic learning outside the classroom
  • Hands-on experience to aid in building a resume
  • Development of critical thinking skills
  • Enhanced understanding of diverse cultures and communities
  • Opportunities to learn/practice transferable skills including communication, teambuilding, and problem-solving
  • Increased sense of civic engagement and social responsibility

Community Service Learning Opportunities for Modern Languages and Literatures Students:

Local Opportunities:

Course: Italian 1033- Italian for Beginners and Our Italian-Canadian Stories
Faculty Member: Pietro Pirani and Maria Laura Mosco
Team Offered: Fall and Winter Terms (1.0 credit)
Course Description:
 Next to a trip on the Italian Riviera, what could possibly be better than learning Italian while interacting with a paesano from London? Join Italian 1033! Through in-class/online course work and a community based project, you will learn the language of music, cuisine, sport, art, science and culture and develop the skills that facilitate community engagement while actively immersed in the vibrant local Italian community. You will also have the opportunity to contribute to the building of a digital archive of stories collected through interviews with the local Italian-Canadian community or your own family.

CourseSPANISH 2200- Intermediate Spanish and SPANISH 3300 –Advanced Spanish Language
Faculty Member: Ana Garcia-Allen (Course Coordinator)
Team Offered: Fall and Winter Terms (1.0 credit)
Course Description:
 Spanish 2200:  Combining grammar and communication this course prepares students to discuss, read and write about a variety of topics and to explore ideas about Hispanic culture in relation to their own. Includes a Community Service Learning option. Spanish 3300:  Further development of oral and written skills with systematic acquisition of vocabulary and selective grammar review. Based on a multimedia and communicative approach, this course aims to develop fluency. Discussions, readings, and writing will focus on the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Includes an optional Community Service Learning component.

Course: LINGUIST 2244A – Second Language Acquisition
Faculty Member: Dr. Joyce Bruhn
Term Offered: Fall 2013
Course Description: An overview of research on naturalistic and instructed second language acquisition (SLA). Various aspects of first language and second language learning/acquisition processes provide a framework for consideration of basic questions in SLA. Issues considered include situational factors influencing SLA, learner differences, and cognitive processes in learning a second/foreign language. The course will match students up with members of the London and Western community who are endeavouring to learn a second language.

Course:  SPANISH 2216G –Exploring Hispanic Cultures II
Faculty Member: Dr. Victoria Wolff
Term Offered: Winter 2017
Course Description:  Introduction to reading, writing and researching in literature, film, popular culture and digital Spanish. Students develop foundations in these fields through a series of case studies across generic, historical, geographical areas of the Hispanic world. Taught by one core professor in conjunction with different specialists.

Course:  SPANISH 4511G –Hispanic Studies: Music, Dance, Performance
Faculty Member: Dr. Victoria Wolff
Term Offered: 
Course Description:  This course focuses on the performing arts of the Hispanic World and how they incorporate cross-cultural influences and traditions, relate to other art forms such as the literary and visual arts, intersect with the world of mass media and entertainment, and address issues of identity, gender, social (in)justice, and/or resistance.

International Opportunities:

Course: SPANISH 3500G –Community Service Learning (Hispanic Studies: Guatemala)
Faculty Member: Dr. Alena Robin
Term Offered:
Course Description:  Learn about the Hispanic world through classroom study and community service learning in a Spanish-speaking country. The course contemplates, culture, history and contemporary social issues. Community Service Learning activities, destination and length of the stay abroad will vary.

Course: SPANISH 2200-Intermediate Spanish; SPANISH 3300 –Advanced Spanish Language ( Intermediate and Advanced Spanish: Cuba CSL)
Faculty Member: Fiona Hurley (International Coordinator)
Term Offered: Fall and Winter 2016 (1.0 credit), travel during Reading Week   
Course Description:
  Combining grammar and communication this course prepares students to discuss, read and write about a variety of topics and to explore ideas about Hispanic culture in relation to their own. Includes a Community Service Learning trip to Cuba over Reading Week.

For more information, visit the Western Student Success Centre website.