Language Ambassadors Enrich The Learning Experience At LILA
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.
Interested in becoming a host family? Fill out our Host Family Application here!
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 Language Ambassadors
María Isabella Suárez Díaz
Hello, my name is Isabella Suárez, but you can call me just “Isa”. I am 23 years old. I am from Ibagué, Colombia. Currently, I am studying B.A in English. I enjoy hanging out with my friends, singing, and watching TV shows. I love pets and I have two lovely cats; their names are Electra and Aria. I consider myself a friendly person, and I enjoy meeting new people.
Pedro Lara Algaba
My name is Pedro José and I am 24 years old. I am from Alicante (in the southeast of Spain), but I have studied in various parts of the world, including Brazil and Lisbon. I love traveling and dancing (urban and hip hop). I have a degree in in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Teaching Psychology. I am very active, extroverted, and easy-going. I love to learn about new places, and in particular I enjoy art, dance, theater, music, opera, poetry, mountains, etc. I try to always be positive, and I like to make people laugh. I also like sports; I think I need them to survive! I would like to try winter sports, especially skiing since where I live I have never had the opportunity to learn (since it hasn’t snowed here since 1926). I think that in Minnesota I will live many new and rewarding experiences, and I will learn and grow as a teacher as well.
Marina Espartero Asensio
My name is Marina. I am 24 years old, and I live with my parents in Valladolid, Spain. I have one sister; she is 31 years old. I am very active and love to make plans with my friends and family. I work as a swimming instructor for children with disabilities, and I also coach the Valladolid wheelchair basketball team. I like to travel and see new places.
Cristina Hernández Jiménez
Hello! I’m Cristina and I’m 23 years old. I live in Tres Cantos, which is a city in Madrid. My city is very quiet and it’s a very nice place to live. There are five people in my family, including myself and my two sisters. I am very close to my family. I like to travel and to get to know new places and their cultures. I also like sports and reading.
Ana Zapico Casado
I am 22 years old. I am from Seville, Spain, where I live with my parents and siblings. I love traveling, taking photos, spending time with my family and friends, cooking, practicing sports, going to the beach or countryside, and spending time with children (I love them). In addition, I love learning about other cultures. I am an open-minded and hardworking person, and I can adapt to almost all situations. I am looking forward to meeting new people and enjoying my time in Minnesota.
Alex Antonio Álvarez Martínez
I am 21 years old, and I live with my parents and two sisters in El Salvador. I love spending time with my family and hanging out with my friends. I am Catholic, and I am part of the church choir. I like to draw pictures and play the guitar. I like to play soccer and basketball. I love cooking traditional food from my country. I love pets. I am part of the Honors Leadership and Competitiveness Program at my university. Furthermore, I enjoy doing volunteer activities as a part of the International Lions Club. This will be my first time travelling to the U.S., so I would like to travel and see many amazing places during my exchange experience. I am very excited to meet my host family and to be able to share many beautiful moments with them. I am excited to meet new people, learn different things, and experience different cultures.
Miriam Romero Vilar
I am 24 years old and I come from Madrid, which is a big city---even so, I like being in touch with nature and going for long walks. I live with my parents and my younger brother. I love travelling, and I was lucky that my parents provided me with opportunities to travel; we spend most of our vacation periods (Christmas, Easter, Summer) visiting new places in our country and abroad. I also hope to visit as many places as I can once I get to Minnesota. I recently graduated with a degree in Primary Education, so I am excited to start a new adventure which will bring me experience in my field. I am a collaborative person and a hard worker, who is always willing to do new things in school. I am really open minded and a family orientated person, so I will love to spend time with an American family, getting to know their routines and culture. I also love to be in a home with pets. Other hobbies of mine are drawing, crafting, reading, dancing, and doing sports that keep my healthy.
Celia Falcón Bermejo
I am a 24-year-old Andalusian girl from Seville, Spain. I have a younger brother who studies biochemistry. I live with my parents. I love adventure! I am a very social person; I love meeting new people, making friends, and travelling to as many places as possible. I love sports—especially running with music. I enjoy spending time with my friends and trying new experiences. I studied environmental sciences and have a master’s degree in research. I love nature and biology. I have decided to dedicate my life to teaching about what I have learned, so I am studying for a master’s degree in education, which is my passion.
Jun Teng Ke (Nickname: Miles)
Hello everyone! I am Miles from Taiwan. I am honored to be a Language Ambassador at LILA. I am a very lively and enthusiastic person. I like to communicate with all kinds of people and get to know different cultures. This year, in Minnesota, I look forward to learning new things and trying many new experiences.
Marta González Sánchez
I am Marta and I am 23 years old. I am from Toledo, Spain, but I have studied the Early Childhood Education degree in Madrid, the capital of Spain. Now I am studying Psychology and I live with my parents. I am a social, active and friendly person. I love traveling, spending my time with friends and family, and I like doing very different activities (playing volleyball, outdoor running, going for a walk, making handicrafts, listening to music, etc.). I would like to learn new activities and meet new people in Minnesota. I really want to live this experience and to get to know another culture, and to show how my culture is too. I think it will be a great opportunity!