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    The Spanish Club will attend a bilingual exchange at St. Joseph’s church Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Any student may attend Spanish Club.

Spanish Club: Overcoming the first language barrier

in Campus Life by

    Spanish Club is an organization for members of the UCC community to enjoy some time together while learning about the Spanish language. No level of fluency is required to be a participant.

   “It’s open to everyone, even if you’ve never taken a Spanish class; if you just kind of want to get introduced to it, we want people to come. It’s just really to open up that barrier of communication,” Spanish Club member Kelsey Stone said.

   “I first got involved this year with the club. I took Spanish last year, and I wasn’t able to go to the meetings because of my work schedule, but I was able to go this year,” Stone said.

   Ease of accessibility of the club has personally allowed Stone to practice her Spanish in a casual setting, which is important because her current schedule does not allow her to take a Spanish class: “I enjoy working with Señor Tratz, and I have a couple other friends that are in Spanish Club.”

   Her favorite activities of Spanish Club are simple: “Just general introductions, and asking how you’re doing, or what you did that day or the previous night— like small talk and really kind of building on that. Because initially when you meet people, that’s what you’re going to talk about.”

   “A lot of the Spanish-speaking people I have met do actually speak English pretty well, but they aren’t necessarily comfortable speaking it to others that are fluent (in English),” said Stone.

   Worrying about lack of fluency about a second language is often what hinders starting conversations across languages. Working through conversational errors can be embarrassing, but Stone said it can also be most encouraging. She said that when both parties know little of a second language but make an attempt to speak it for the other person’s benefit, neither person is left to feel ashamed for not knowing more about second language.

   Stone stressed the benefits of making an effort to know more than one language: “Even if you aren’t fluent in a language, just to kind of learn how to communicate on that simple level with others that don’t speak English, or speak it as a first language, as well just to get that communication, and to get to know people, make them feel comfortable.”

   Spanish Club meetings are at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays this term in Jackson Hall 16. At 7 p.m. on Nov. 17, the Spanish Club will attend St. Joseph’s Church for a bilingual exchange.