The Modern Linguist
Faculty Spotlight

Student Reflections

Faculty Spotlight

Gregg Brekke, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages

Jennifer BrownML: What is your educational background and what are your favorite courses to teach?

GB: I studied English and theology at Whitworth, and education and linguistics at the University of Montana. My favorite classes to teach are in academic English for international students, linguistics and the Core program.

ML: How did you come to be a professor at Whitworth? What attracted and appealed to you here?

GB: My undergraduate experience here at Whitworth was excellent: great professors and classes, campus life, and Christian mission. I remember thinking at that time, "It would be amazing to be able to teach at a place like Whitworth." It seems so natural now to give back to my students some aspects of the learning and faith development that I acquired during my undergraduate years.

ML: You work with students from around the world. What can you tell us about them and your experiences with such a diverse and changing population?

GB: We are privileged to have bright, thoughtful, hard-working and friendly students from almost every continent on the globe. They enrich my understandings of cultures and languages and friendship. I am amazed at their insights into American ways and their perspectives on international problems and potential solutions. I think many of these students will contribute in important ways to the communities in which they live.

ML: Please tell us a little about you, perhaps about your family, or hobbies and passions that you may have.

GB: I am blessed by my wife Nenette (from the Philippines!) and our children Hannah (15) and Nathan (12). We enjoy travelling, international cuisine, conversation, museums, movies and books. We also lead a Filipino-American Bible study group.

Student Reflections

Learning Español

Annie Aeschbacherby Annie Aeschbacher

I am a white girl.
Blond(ish) hair,
blue(ish) eyes,
skin that sunburns in an instant.
Una gringa norteamericana,
That's me.

But inside, there is a
corazón latino.
My heart
Beats for dusty streets,
fresh tortillas y frijoles,
the pulse of la vida

This ritmo de la vida
rushes through my veins:
the sway of salsa,
the tingle of salsa picante
(but not too picante, ipor favor!)
fruta fresca,
the bustle of el mercado,
the stillness of siesta.

I want to live the Latin American way.
Warmth and hospitality to those you meet.
Big hugs and ¡Hola!s to friends en la calle.
Conversations where you really
Time and laughter well-spent
after a long
day's work.
Caring for los queridos,
los viejos y
los jóvenes pequeñitos.
Taking this dia rapidito
and slowing
Living in the moment,
seeing blessings y benidiciones with
fresh eyes,
taking nothing
for granted.
Que Dios te bendiga.

Sometimes this seems perfect, pero
ya sé que nada bajo los cielos
sea perfecto.

Graffiti-splattered walls in San Francisco
are windows,
colorful passageways
into the vibrancy and the hardships
of this life.
La vida is also full of
violence, isolation, insecurity, fear.
But despite it all,
my heart still feels at home
in this mezcla de la vida that is Spanish.

Sometimes I look at mis amigos
and I wonder,

Can I ever really be a part of this world?
Am I just a naïve school girl,
¿una gringa soñadora?
But then I feel el ritmo
in my blood once again,
and remember that God
shaped my corazón latino
and gave me
esta pasió de la vida.
Pura vida.

And I realize:
Maybe you don’t just learn español.
you live it.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Positions available through Trinity Christian College:
  • Director of marketing and recruitment for the Semester in Spain program, starting summer 2011
  • Student ministries coordinator, living and working in Seville, Spain, starting August 2011

For more information, please contact Vicki Daggy at or x4765

DELE Examination
Mark your calendars for the DELE (Diplomas in Spanish as a Foreign Language) examination to be held at Whitworth on Saturday, May 21. All levels are available, including the new C1. Registration is from Feb. 21-April 15 (inclusive). Information will be distributed in your Spanish classes and is also available in Westminster (see Vicki Daggy.) Online prep courses are available.

What is the DELE?
The Diplomas in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE), granted by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education, are official qualifications certifying levels of competence in the Spanish language.

Types of diplomas granted:

  • Diploma de Español: Level A1. Attests to having the linguistic ability necessary to understand and use everyday life expressions in order to satisfy basic needs.
  • Diploma de Español: Level A2. Attests to having the linguistic ability necessary to understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance.
  • Diploma de Español: Level B1 & Diploma de Español: Level B1 Escolar. Attests to having the linguistic ability necessary to understand and adequately react in everyday situations, in normal communicative needs and wishes in a basic way.
  • Diploma de Español: Level B2. Attests to having the linguistic ability necessary to handle average day to day situations, in normal communicative circumstances, which do not require specialized use of the language.
  • Diploma de Español: Level C1. Attests to having the linguistic ability necessary to use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  • Diploma de Español: Level C2. Attests having the linguistic ability necessary to handle situations that require an advanced use of the language and knowledge of the cultural customs embedded within it.

Tutoring Available
Spanish tutoring: Available five nights a week during spring semester. Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities.

Sunday-Thursday, 7-9 p.m. in the library, second floor, room # 208. Sign-ups are available and encouraged.

French tutoring: Available three nights a week during spring semester. Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities.

Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 8-9 p.m. in Westminster #142. Sign-ups are available and encouraged.

cGerman, Chinese and Japanese tutoring is available by appointment. Please contact Vicki Daggy for more information at or x4765.

Class of 2011: Mark your calendars for the Modern Languages Senior Breakfast. This annual event is Saturday, May 14, from 9:30-11 a.m., and is for you and your family to enjoy on graduation weekend. More information will be forthcoming, along with invitations to send to your family members.

Vol. 5 Issue 1 Feb. 2011

The Modern Linguist was birthed from the desire to unite those who study in the modern languages discipline at Whitworth University. The newsletter features information, news and stories applicable to those involved in the program. Let it serve you well.

Modern Languages Department
Westminster Hall
Whitworth University
Phone: 509.777.4765
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Bendi Benson Schrambach
Editor: Victoria Daggy
For student employment information, please contact Vicki Daggy, program assistant, at 509.777.4765

Scripture of the Month

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
– Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

Car nous sommes son ouvrage, ayant été créés en Jésus Christ pour de bonnes oeuvres, que Dieu a préparées d'avance, afin que nous les pratiquions.
– Éphésiens 2:10

Porque somos hechura suya, criados en Cristo Jesús para buenas obras, las cuales Dios preparó para que anduviésemos en ellas.
– Efesios 2:10

Denn wir sind sein Werk, geschaffen in Christo Jesu zu guten Werken, zu welchen Gott uns zuvor bereitet hat, daß wir darin wandeln sollen.
– Epheser 2:10