Language Ambassadors Enrich The Learning Experience At LILA
NOTE: Due to COVID-19, our Language Ambassador program has been suspended for the 2020-21 school year.
Language ambassadors are a vital part of our program at LILA. They are interns from Spanish- and Chinese-speaking countries who assist our teachers in the classroom and provide language and culture models for our students. They work with individual students and small groups or supervise activities of the large group, allowing the teacher to give more attention to students who need more help or more challenge.
Having ambassadors in the classrooms also gives students the opportunity to hear authentic target-language conversation between the ambassador and the teacher, rather than only between learners or between the teacher and students. It's a proven program for enhancing the educational experiences of LILA students and staff, the host families, and the language ambassadors.
Who Are Language Ambassadors?
Language ambassadors bring their own languages and cultures to life by engaging and motivating students, leaving them with new confidence in their ability to communicate across borders. They are considered teaching assistants and help maintain a low student to teacher ratio at LILA. They are single, native Spanish- or Chinese-speaking adults between the ages of 20 and 30.
What Are Host Family Roles And Responsibilities?
Host families come in all shapes and sizes and serve as a language ambassador’s substitute family for half the school year. They provide room and board (a private bedroom, shared bathroom, and meals). Host families are not required to cover any other expenses (ambassadors bring their own spending money). Host families do their best to provide care, moral support, and basic needs to a language ambassador as if he or she were a member of the family. Host families provide transportation to and from LILA (transportation assistance can sometimes be arranged).
Host families receive a $1,000 stipend at the end of their hosting period. We recognize that this stipend will not cover all costs incurred by families in the course of hosting for five months, but we hope that it defrays the cost enough so that more families can participate in hosting.
How Our Program Works
Language ambassadors live with host families from Lakes International for a part of the school year. Any Lakes International family can share a social, cultural, or family event with the language ambassadors. For example, you may take them to sports events, museums, day-trips in the area, share a family meal, etc.
The Language Ambassadors Program at LILA is supported and funded by the Lakes International PTO, which is funded by parents.
Meet the past Language Ambassadors
Li Sijun (Lizz)
I'm 23 years old. I'm from Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province in China. Kunming is a "spring city." It's warm all the year. Therefore, the sceneries are very beautiful, and our family often likes to travel around to the parks on holidays. I live with my mother, father, and grandmother. I like drawing pictures and playing instruments like piano and ukulele. I’m a very easy-going person, so I'm looking forward to joining the community as quickly as I can, and I hope I can make a lot of friends.
Huang Yiwen (Alice)
I’m from Jilin province of China. I like traveling and taking photos. I’m also interested in psychology and poetry. I respect the values of other cultures, and I would like to make friends with people who have empathy and a tolerant heart. I’m looking forward to meeting you.
Emma Martinez Blanco
I am 22 years old and I live with my parents in Madrid. I used to live with my siblings, but they are older than me: one brother lives with his wife and his sons; my sister lives in Mexico as a volunteer; and another brother lives on his own. I love spending time with my family and friends doing sports, going to the cinema, going to the mountains, and doing different kinds of adventure activities. I really like volunteering. I am Catholic, but I would like to meet people from other religions. I hope to have my driver's license before I arrive in Minnesota. I´m excited about being part of an American family, learning their customs and traditions, and trying new foods. I would love to try winter sports, especially skiing and doing different kinds of adventure activities. During my time in the U.S., I hope to travel and see the beautiful geography. I’m not a big fan of pets, but I won’t mind living with a dog.
I am 24 years old, from Gansu Province, China, which is a very beautiful place. I like photography and travel. I also like dancing and walking along the beach and in the forest. I am looking forward to life in Minnesota. I am excited to meet new people, learn different things, and experience different cultures.
Qu Meng (Helen)
I am 23 years old and from Jilin province, a place where it is very cold in winter. I love watching movies, traveling, and reading. I am okay living with lovely animals. I enjoy vegetables very much. I am excited to try many different kinda of food in the USA. I am comfortable playing with kids, doing chores, and working in the kitchen. I’d like to share Chinese culture with you. This will be my first time going to the USA; I think it is going to be an interesting and unforgettable experience. I am looking forward to being a warm and active member with my host family.
I’m from Arenys de Mar, a town near Barcelona, Spain. I will celebrate my 22nd birthday in the U.S. I am a very active person and I like to do a lot of things with my friends. I just finished my degree in primary education and I work in a theater. These are my two passions, children and theater. I have a lot of experience with 6- to 18-year-old children. I love doing activities involved in my town and having fun with new people. I love dancing, although I am not the best dancer. I like cooking Mediterranean food, and I love Italian food. I really like rollercoasters and amusements parks. I also like shopping and having a calm afternoon with my friends. I love going to the beach, but I can replace it with an ice lake in Minnesota. I can’t wait to live this experience and learn more about USA culture and improve my English. Of course, if I can teach something about my culture, it would be amazing.
Aroa Fernandez Gomez
I am 22 years old and I am from Valladolid, Spain. Currently, I live with my parents and my brother, but the last year I was living and studying in Italy. Also, I lived in the U.S. for three months during the summer thanks to the Work & Travel Program. I really enjoy these types of programs that allow participants to travel, live in another country, discover a different culture, and meet new people. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and also with animals (I have a lovely 4-year-old husky, Kira). I love to practice different activities and sports, but the one I like the most is ice skating, which I practiced when I was 16 years old. I have studied Infant Education, so I am very excited to work there in a school, learning about U.S. education. I am an active person and I hope to be involved in fun activities with my host family.
Cecilia Vallejo Aroca
I'm 26 years old and I live in the countryside of Madrid, Spain, in a village called Guadarrama. I have three brothers. We are a musical family (I play violin). My father is musician and university teacher. My mother is a musician, too, and teaches music to special needs children. When she was young, she developed a school project with her teacher-friends trying to answer, "which is the school I dream for my children?" My brothers and I attended that school. We have never used textbooks, never took exams. We learned through experience, motivation, curiosity, and projects. I love to travel and to know other cultures and different people. I love sports, music, cinemas, and spending time with my friends and especially with my family. I am a very family-oriented person. I am used to doing household duties (cooking, cleaning, laundry), helping my brothers with homework, and enjoying the little things in family.
Chen Shuaiyi (Claire)
I am 25 years old and I am from Shenyang, China. I enjoy spending time with my friends and my lovely family. I like to try different things, learn new skills, meet new friends, and learn from other cultures. I am looking forward to making new friends in Minnesota. I am also looking forward to being part of the host family.
J. Daniela Guerrero
I am 24 years old and I am from Nariño, a place in southern Colombia full of nature and traditions. I have been living alone the last 5 years, but I am close to my family. I consider myself friendly, easy going, sociable; someone who tries to contribute something of myself to others. Some of the things that I like to do are explore new places, know more about cultural aspects, dancing, cooking, and swimming. I want to be part of this new experience, because it is a great opportunity to learn, be passionate as a teacher, exchange cultures, and meet new people. Also, I would like to be part of an active, open-minded and adventurous family who wants to exchange ideas, culture, food, and language.
Gu Haiting (Diana)
I’m 26 and I come from Ningxia Autonomous Region, China. I live with my parents and my sister. I have a big family: my parents, my two sisters, brother-in-law, my nephew and niece. I love them very much. We have family gatherings very often. I pursue the healthy-living habit. I don’t like staying up late, and I would sleep in if I am tired. I climb mountains and ride a bike sometimes. I think I need to play more sports. I’m really glad to travel to Minnesota. It will be an unforgettable experience in my life. I hope I will meet more people and make friends. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you in Minnesota.
Francisco Antonio Ramirez Ramos
I was born in San Salvador, the capital El Salvador (my country). I have always lived with my mom, my aunt, and my uncle. I don’t have siblings, but I have always been surrounded by many relatives. In my leisure time, I like to do a lot of activities; I like to play sports such as soccer, tennis, volleyball, and a little basketball. I like to go hiking in the mountains and go on walks. I also love listening to music; it is one of my favorite activities. I like to go to concerts and soccer games in my country. I like to read English and Spanish books. I love to cook traditional food from my country but also spaghetti and pastas. I like to spend time with my family and friends to watch movies or just drink a coffee. I love animals, especially dogs. I do not have a driver’s license.
Kenny Rocio Montoya Cañas
I am 22 years old. I am from a village named Guadalupe located near the Chinchontepec volcano in San Vicente, El Salvador. I live with my parents who are teachers, and my two little brothers. I love helping people in need; I am a Red Cross Volunteer where I am in charge of the youth division. We work on social activities such as building small houses, trying to change youth behavior, and teaching different activities to benefit our community. My hobbies are cooking, dancing, studying, reading, watching TV, and listening to music. I am passionate about traveling. In my time in the U.S., I look forward to knowing as many destinations as possible. Currently, I am in my fourth year studying for a degree in English, specializing in teaching. I am comfortable with an adventurous, empathetic, sociable, and friendly family.
Ladisbel Jimenez Vergara
I'm from Colombia. I'm 26 years old. Regarding my personality, I can say that I am shy but at the same time I am friendly and funny. Moreover, I love being in different places and meeting new people, because I think this is the best way to acquire knowledge and learn from cultures. I love dogs because they are awesome creatures. I also like hiking and going to the gym. I'm so excited about being chosen as a Language Ambassador and I know I will have the best experience ever.
Mario Garcia Gonzalez
I am from Soria (Spain) and I am 27 years old. This year I am finishing the degree of Primary Education and also I am a technical animator in physical and sports activities. I’ve played drums since I was 10 years old and my hobbies are music and sports. Last year I was in Ghana to volunteer in a small village in the south region. I feel excited about this new experience in the U.S.
Marta Lázaro Manrique
I am 24 years old. I am from Segovia, Spain, a very small city near Madrid. I live with my mother, my father, and my younger brother (he is 20). I have studied to be a primary education teacher and I am finishing the degree to work with preschool children. I love spending time with all my family and my friends! I love traveling with my family and sometimes friends join us, too. I have traveled to lots of places in Europe and Spain, the U.S., and Canada. I want to know as much as possible about the U.S. while I am there. I really enjoy when I can try new experiences, meet new people, and learn from other cultures. I am sure that I will learn a lot more about education and culture in Minnesota. I love doing different sports; I have played soccer for 5 years, and I am now working as a trainer with little children. I like going to the gym. I do not cook much at home, but I am willing to learn! My ideal family would be the balance between active and calm.
Salvador Domínguez De La Cruz
You can call me Salva. I was born and live in Seville, Spain. I am 26 years old and I am the oldest brother of three. This will be my second time in the USA. I have just finished my degree in Primary Education. For me, it will be a pleasure to be part of your community, and it is an honor to be welcomed into your home. I consider myself a to be a cheerful, autonomous, optimistic, orderly, social, and proactive person. I have grown up in a Catholic Christian family. I have always practiced sports. When I was little I was on a rowing team, and now I like any team sport. I am very fond of football, fishing, and the gym. I love nature, adventures, outdoor activities, healthy lifestyles, and listening to music (and playing the guitar). I also like cooking very much, and I know the typical things of my country quite well. I have done numerous volunteer jobs with children, and I am now a private teacher for primary school children. I have been a monitor for 6 summers in summer camps in Spain and the USA.
Samuel Gomez Garcia
I'm 24 and I am from Valladolid, Spain. I am studying a master's degree in research applied to education. I love sports! Throughout my life I have practiced soccer, basketball, handball, and rugby, and every day I try to have a bike ride. I also like to read, listen to music, watch series and movies, and I like animals. The relationship with my family is good and I have three dogs, which I love to take for a walk. In my free time I like to do sports alone or with my friends, play video games, go to cinema, or go for a coffee to talk. I have had a driver's license for 5 years, although I have never met with as much snow as there is in Minnesota. I consider myself an orderly, hard-working, spontaneous, loving, and kind person with a lot of desire to learn and live new experiences. My goals with this adventure are to improve my English, to learn a different educational system, immerse myself with the American culture, and make new friends.
Sandra Arias Gonzalez
I'm 22 and I'm from Valladolid, Spain. I am studying Early Childhood Education and I like children very much. I live with my parents and my twin sister, and I love spending time with them and the rest of my family. We have a caravan and we love to travel and get to know new places. I'm very excited to go to Minnesota; it's the first time I've traveled to the U.S. and I think it's going to be an unforgettable experience! I love to travel, meet new people, listen to English pop, read, dance, and experience new adventures! I have been dancing traditional dances since I was 4 years old and I play castanets and tambourines. I love sports and I would love to participate in LILA activities. I would love an active host family, to show me American culture and to be able to practice and improve my English. I would love participating in all host family activities! I have a driver´s license and I take my car every day, but I have never driven in snow.
Sara de Andrés
I am 24 years old. I'm from Segovia, a little city near Madrid, Spain. I live with my parents and my older brother. I also have an older sister; she is married and the mother of my little one-year-old-niece. I've just finished a double degree in kindergarten and primary education. I truly love my job. My favorite hobbies are traveling and spending time with my family and friends. Since I was three, I've been studying English, which is why I’m excited about this adventure. Furthermore, I love learning new cultures, new people, new places, playing new sports, etc. That's why I feel this experience will be unique and one of the best of my life!
I am looking forward to this experience!
Shuna Ge (Sara)
I am 22 years old and I am from China. I am an amiable person and I love to try new things in life. I like singing, traveling, taking photos, and sometimes I also watch documentaries and TV shows. I am interested in baking and cooking. I often cook for myself on my vacations. I teach English and tutor in China and that helps me improve my communication skills. I believe this will be an unforgettable experience in my life. I’d like to enjoy this year with all of you. I am looking forward to meeting you!