Welcome to an excellent Spanish program at North 

Bienvenidos a un excelente programa de espaņol en el Norte

List of Courses | Syllabi I Resources | Contacting the Instructor | Assignments | Study Guides | Alumni | Corner of laughter(Youtubeando)


Cristina C. Zahajko has been teaching Spanish and French for many years. She was born and raised in Córdoba, Argentina in a Polish-speaking Community. In elementary school she began studying French and English. This early exposure to languages led her to extensive travel, work and study abroad, and to work with the U.S. Department of Justice. She also worked as a liaison for professional delegations traveling abroad, as a radio announcer for Spanish programs, as an interpreter for television/radio, and for the Red Cross. Recently, she coordinated and directed the student immersion programs in Argentina.






La victoria


SAFE AT LAST! La victoria

El renacimiento

(the rebirth)


Parrot missing 4 years returns home speaking Spanish




Spanish program

Courses Taught:

Regular sessions:
1st. Year (11 weeks)

SPAN&121Reg (Spanish I)



SPAN&122Reg (Spa. II)


SPAN&123Reg (Spa.III)
2nd. Year  SPAN&221 (Spa. IV ) Fall
SPAN&222 (Spa.V) Winter
SPAN&223(Spa. VI) Spring
Independent Study Projects: SPAN 299 Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer
Intensive sessions:
1st. Year (5 weeks) SPAN&121 (Spanish I) Spring
SPAN&122 (Spa. II) Spring
1st. Year (4 weeks) SPAN&121 (Spanish I) Summer
  SPAN&122 (Spa. II) Summer
Evening sessions:
1st. Year (11 weeks) SPAN&121pm (Spanish I) winter

French program

Independent Study Projects: FREN 298 Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer

International Dialogue in the Classroom
Texcoco/Seattle attend class together

By James Krieger
Polaris Staff

Students at North and in Texcoco, Mexico met each other via video conferencing on the last three Wednesdays of the fall quarter, through the college's new Internet television capability, called the Polycam system.

The students exchanged audio and visual communication for about an hour in the experimental program that involves Spanish 103 students here at North and English students at the Colegio de Postgraduados in Texcoco. The program is a result of a Fulbright educational exchange between Omar Manuelian, North's Institute of English Program Director, and Antonia Gil, director of the Mexican university's language department.  Manuelian received a $15,000 Fulbright grant to encourage such linkages in 2004-2005 between the Colegio de Postgraduados and the Seattle Community College District of which North Seattle is a part.

Although some bugs need to be worked out, the program is off to a great start. Students in both classes were asked to prepare questions about each other's cities and lives.  During the conference students here asked questions in Spanish and were answered in Spanish by their Mexican counterparts.  Then the Mexican students asked their questions about Seattle in English and the students here responded in English.

Because of the slight time delay there was a little confusion at first, but after the participants became accustomed to the walky-talky-like pauses in conversation, responding to the questions became easier for students.  Nervousness at performing on camera in another language was also a challenge to most all the participants, but by the third week many were much more relaxed and were joking with each other.

Over the three-week trial run, the classes became more familiar with the process and with each other, and the conferences were more comfortable
and fun.

    Cristina Zahajko, Professor of Spanish and French here at North, moderated when questions were incomprehensible or when there was a lull in the action.  At times, sentences and/or difficulty with the accent made it hard for the students on the other end to discern what was being asked, and Zahajko would jump in with some bi-lingual refereeing, like a proud parent explaining to the blank-faced spectators on the screen what the mangled sentence was supposed to mean.  The students on both sides of the continent would laugh with each other, and a sense of motivation to be understood was clearly shared by all.

    Advocates for this new venture know that generating enthusiasm is a definite plus while learning a foreign language, and this new program is proving to be a very interesting tool in meeting that goal.  In addition, knowing that native speakers understand what a student is saying provides a confidence boost that until now was only achieved through actually being in the foreign country During the last session, several members of the administration were on hand to witness the conference.   In addition, a reporter from KOMO radio later interviewed Professor Zahajko.

    In order to be able to communicate during the fifty-minute interface, a basic proficiency in Spanish (like 103 or higher) is necessary.  Because of already-scheduled class times, the program might run into some scheduling difficulties this winter quarter.  However, because of all the positive feedback, the team responsible for the program indicates that they intend to continue video conferencing in the future.
       ¡Andale Pues!     So let's go!


North Seattle Community College in Córdoba, Argentina




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