¡Hola y bienvenidos!
My name is Miss Jireh Jaramillo.
I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to be teaching at Fourth Baptist! My hope as a Spanish teacher is that I will stir an interest in students to want to get to know people who are different from them. Learning Spanish is not just about speaking a foreign language; it’s a vehicle to communicate with groups of people you wouldn’t be able to reach by only speaking English.
I think the question of “Why should I learn Spanish?” might come into the minds of students as they are required to take Spanish. The answers, “You need it for college”, “To get a good job”, or “in order to witness” might be some of the answers that they might hear to that initial question. While those are all good and true answers to that question, as Christians we look for biblical reasons to learn a foreign language, and nowhere in the Bible does it say, “Thou shalt learn a foreign language” so the curriculum that we are using this year from Bob Jones University Press invites students to look deeper at that initial question, “Why should I learn Spanish?” and focuses on three principles:
- Love your neighbor
- Care for creation
- Praise God
Language is such a big part of people’s lives that it shapes how we view the world. A person’s language tends to be very close to their heart and to speak someone else’s language is to reach into their heart and their part of the world. It’s a way of being Christ to them.
As mentioned before, language is a very influential lens in how someone views and evaluates the world. Learning another language opens up a whole different way of viewing and evaluating God’s creation. That’s why it’s fascinating seeing how different languages like Spanish and French have even influenced the English language to explain God’s creation with borrowed words like hippopotamus, kangaroo, moccasin, etc.
We will be praying in class in Spanish as we progress through the year, more and more in Spanish. Spanish speakers will sometimes highlight attributes of God that English speakers might not be aware of. An example of this is family, which Hispanics showcase the big family of God very well. In Romans 8:15, Paul reminds us of the spirit of adoption that empowers us to call God “Father,” so it follows that we are all brothers and sisters. No one is left out. Hispanics take care of their family by often sending their family money if they live far away. Most Hispanics live near family to be always accessible to help.
The curriculum of Bob Jones University Press highlight this as well as:
– Vocabulary – Writing
– Bible verse memorization – Grammar
– Listening – Conversations
As students learn Spanish, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of exposure to a Spanish language environment–whether via television, podcasts, radio, or travel–for cementing correct pronunciation, intonation, and familiarity with the culture.
I look forward to a great year!