• September 19, 2016 - November 28, 2016
    4:30 am - 10:00 am

MBA Regional Training Event – Hosted by Hill County CSCD

Three day training:   September 19,  October 17,  November 28, 2016

This course will provide non-Spanish-speaking juvenile and adult probation officers, supervisors, and their staff with basic, functional skills in Spanish.  Utilizing phonetic encoding and scripted Spanish, the course, facilitated by MBA Associate Terry Portillo, addresses a wide variety of officer/client scenarios that are typical of probation situations.  Prior knowledge of Spanish is not necessary to successfully complete this course.


As multiple lessons across an extended period of time increase a student’s ability to master language skills, the training  developed by MBA will consist of three six-hour modules to be held at three week intervals. To fully benefit from this training, participants should be prepared to spend thirty to forty-five minutes per day, five days a week, studying their textbook and doing the online assignments provided by the instructor.


Module one of the training will focus on Spanish pronunciation and basic vocabulary, including numbers, requesting personal information, everyday office vocabulary, scheduling appointments, talking about family and work, and basic probation-related vocabulary. The vocabulary covered in this workshop and in homework assignments following the session will serve as the building blocks for the probation-related exchanges covered in the second and third workshops. The first module will also address non-verbal communication and making sense of dual surnames.


Module two will cover communication strategies for probation officers. It will focus on probation-related vocabulary and exchanges customized to meet the participants’ specific needs and objectives.  Topics may include drugs and alcohol, counseling, classes, and programs, past arrests and incarcerations, health issues, sex offenders, money matters, conditions of probation, and violations and revocations of probation. Activities during this session will include role plays and simulations providing participants with opportunities to practice the new vocabulary. Role plays will include scripted dialogues and unscripted conversations in the form of simulated phone conversations and field visits. Following this class, participants will begin using their Spanish at work and will keep a log of any specific questions they have. They will also record any confusing or troubling issues which arise during Spanish language workplace communications.


During Module three participants will meet in groups to share their initial experiences of using Spanish on the job and to offer each other feedback and support. The groups will then share their experiences with the class as a whole.  Participants will also share the questions recorded in their logs and the course facilitator will respond to those questions.  This final workshop will introduce the participants to useful street vocabulary (including vulgar terms commonly used by offenders, slang, and dangerous words) and will cover drug-related vocabulary.    

Survival Spanish for Probation Personnel

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