As most readers know, Dinorah and I have recently transitioned back to the United States after four years in Costa Rica. In fact, half of my adult life has been in Latin America and half in the States. I consider one of the major roles in my life to be a bridge and an interpreter between the two cultures. Bridges and interpreters exist to facilitate accurate, truthful communication between both sides.
Truthful communication includes "tough love." We like to receive "soft love" because it makes us feel good, safe and accepted. Nevertheless, we know we need "tough love," even when it is not fun. We all need people who will speak truth into our lives, accurate reflections of ourselves, so that we can improve our weak areas and make the changes necessary for our growth. For those of us who tend to be "people pleasers," giving and receiving tough love is a lifelong challenge.
Truthful communication brings to mind the ancient prophets. Old Testament prophets were an unusual bunch. They were called the "mouthpieces of God" because they spoke God's truth and lived it out in very difficult circumstances. Frequently they spoke "truth to power" and suffered the consequences: Daniel in the lions' den; Jeremiah dropped into a dry well; Elijah on the run for years. Although we probably won't have such dramatic experiences, or such difficult settings, we are called to grow up into maturity by "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).
In the past few months, I have attempted to express tough-love truth in my writings, especially on topics that bridge my two cultures. In a future issue of the Journal of Christian Higher Education, I have an article that compares and contrasts the overseas study programs of Wheaton College and Whitworth University. I attempted to perform a rigorous evaluation of these programs as I tried to look at these two programs from the perspective of the Latin American host families and internships.
I wrote a chapter titled "Dios en el rostro de los inmigrantes" (God in the face of immigrants), which has appeared in the volume Sigamos a Jesús en su reino de vida (Following Jesus in His Kingdom of Life) by Editorial Lámpara. Immigration characterizes our world, and not just in the United States. In fact, there is more immigration taking place around our globe today than during any other time of human history. Although immigration permeates the Bible, (Abraham, Joseph, Ruth, even Jesus himself in Egypt), we seldom study Scripture with immigration questions in mind. In the chapter, I tried to capture the truth that God identifies deeply with immigrants.
I continue to be the editor of the Journal of Latin American Theology: Christian Reflections from the Latino South. I am excited about our most recent issue, which is dedicated to theme of Christian Mission in the Age of Globalization. The articles express a lot of "tough love" that we in the Global North need to hear. The journal is a great opportunity for non-Spanish speakers to get an understanding of globalization as seen through Christian eyes from south of the border.
Lindy Scott, Professor, Spanish
Sarah (Hennagin) Evans, '08, French and Theology Double Major
When I chose to double major in theology and French at Whitworth, the French was more of an afterthought, something I was already pretty proficient at but that I figured would not be a part of my future career. However, after working for five years at a nonprofit in Spokane that serves youth who are homeless, I realized that I felt called to go into education to work with at-risk students before they fall through the cracks of the school system. And what was I most qualified to teach in a public school? French. Funny.
From 2013-14, I completed the Master in Teaching program at Eastern Washington University, doing my practicum and student teaching in a high- school French classroom in Spokane Valley, where I taught three different levels of French, including a Running Start class through EWU. It turns out that teaching a world language to high-school students is one of the most fun challenges I have had the pleasure of experiencing. While I hope to add another area of endorsement in order to work more broadly with students outside of electives, teaching French is absolutely something I look forward to.
My husband, Joe (who I met in French class in high school), taught secondary English in Spokane over the past year, and is working toward an endorsement in French, as well. In order to gain language experience and build materials for our future classrooms, we will participate in a teaching program through the French government for the 2014-15 school year. Each of us will work as an English language assistant in a French public high school, helping French students to build their proficiency in English by working with a native speaker for part of each week. We recently learned that we will live and teach in Mende, a small town at the base of the mountains in south central France that has retained much of its medieval character and architecture.
We hope to find some kind of teaching work in order to stay in France for an additional school year after our contract with this program finishes, and then to teach somewhere in the Denver area once we come back to the States. We will be posting pictures and reflections from our time abroad to our blog as often as possible. I am so grateful for the continuing support I've had from current and past Whitworth world language faculty, in both completing my graduate degree and starting on this new adventure. Merci!
For more information on the Teaching Assistant Program in French public schools, visit
"Backpacks and Baguettes"
Caylee Lamm, '15, French and International Studies Double Major
"Certainly travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on,
deep and permanent in the ideas of living."
- Miriam Beard
I have found that traveling, in its purest sense, is a way of discovering yourself that forces you to become familiar with your vulnerability, face your insecurities, and act upon the adventures that you crave. It also allows you to cherish home, to know the comfort of family, and confronts you with a new lifestyle, or idea of living that changes you and your relationship to the world indefinitely.
When I booked my flights for l'île de la Réunion, a remote island off the coast of Madagascar, I had no idea what to expect. Reality set in as I landed at the airport and realized I had never received confirmation that someone would be meeting me there. I have come across my fair share of travel adversities, whether they be bureaucratic, administrative, or due to linguistic or cultural barriers, which have been humbling. They have pushed me to abandon some of my regimented thoughts, ideas and plans. I would say that this lesson of abandonment has carried over into other parts of my life, as well, where I have adopted the "just go with it," "c'est la vie," "it's a good story" attitude. Finding joy in the little victories, the new friendships, and the hilarity of being a foreigner will serve you much better than criticizing the differences or the system at large.
Embracing the freeness of abandonment is making it possible for me to explore the island each day and week. We have done this mostly by planning hikes up into the cirques, mountains and basins that are unique to La Réunion. Being able to grab a baguette, a backpack, and some running shoes and go adventuring is a real blessing and a much-needed escape from the everyday routine.
I also cherish the five-minute friendships that I have made along these excursions. For instance, while waiting at a bus stop, I spoke briefly with a mother and her three daughters. For me, this conversation was more than just an exchange of words, because we were able to learn from each other. I spoke French with them and learned their names, ages and favorite American pop artists, and at the same time taught them a little bit of English. The daughters, who were learning English in their schools, asked me questions and practiced saying simple phrases like, "Good morning," "Good evening," and "How are you today?" I will not forget the moment they got off the bus, and with firm concentration, said "Good night" to me.
Although sentimental, these memories are the ones that mean the most to me. Exploring the nature, exploring the culture, and exploring the people at large have contributed to my passion for languages and human connection. I am continuously shown the beauty that is found in blending our differences.
Learn to Merengue
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 3:30 p.m., HUB Multipurpose Room
Counts for students' 100/200-level Experiencia Cultural assignment. Refreshments provided. Hosted by the WLC department.
International Education Week – Don't Miss Out on These Great Events!
- Forum: Global Dimension: The world in your classroom
Thursday, Nov. 20, 6-8:30 p.m., in Weyerhaeuser Hall
Join us as we celebrate and promote international educational exchange. This year's keynote speaker is Concie Pedroza, principal of Seattle World School. You will not want to miss out on this exciting night of learning and fellowship! For more information, please contact Graduate Studies in Education Program Assistant Chaune Schafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- International Festival Dinner and Entertainment
Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in the HUB. Dinner at 5 p.m., followed by program.
Eat food from countries around the world prepared by Sodexo, followed by entertainment by the International Club at 7 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room. Students with meal plan are free. General Admission is $10. Tickets can be purchased at the HUB Info Desk.
Scholarship, Grant and Fellowship Information for Language Students
Check out information on scholarships, grants and fellowships posted on the WLC bulletin boards.
- Davies-Jackson Scholarship for graduating Seniors: November deadline
- Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) Program for Summer 2015: November deadline
- Studying abroad too expensive? Compete for a Boren Award to study in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and more. Applications for 2015-16 available at www.borenawards.org.
- DAAD scholarships for German-language students
Tutoring: All Levels – FREE; Walk-Ins Are Always Welcome!
Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities.
- French: Every Sunday and Thursday, 8-9 p.m. in Westminster 113
- German: Monday afternoons, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Library 208 (across from Composition Commons)
- Spanish: Five nights a week – Sun/Tues/Thurs from 7-9 p.m.; Mon/Wed from 7-8 p.m., in Library 208 (across from Composition Commons)
WLC is on Facebook!
English: Psalm 16:8
I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
جعلت الرب أمامي في كل حين، لأنه عن يميني, فلن أهتز.
Chinese: 詩 篇 16:8
French: Marc 1 :7
Je garde constamment les yeux fixés sur l'Eternel. Puisqu'il est près de moi, rien ne peut m'ébranler
German: Psalm 16:8
Ich habe den Herrn allezeit vor Augen; steht er mir zur Rechten, so werde ich fest bleiben.
Greek: ψαλμός 16:8
προωρώμην τὸν Κύριον ἐνώπιόν μου διαπαντός, ὅτι ἐκ δεξιῶν μού ἐστιν, ἵνα μὴ σαλευθῶ.
תהילים שִׁוִּ֬יתִי יְהוָ֣ה לְנֶגְדִּ֣י תָמִ֑יד כִּ֥י מִֽ֝ימִינִ֗י בַּל־אֶמּֽוֹט׃
Japanese: サーム 16:8
Spanish: Salmos 16:8
Siempre tengo presente al SEÑOR; con él a mi derecha, nada me hará caer.
Swahili: Zaburi 16:8
Nimemweka BWANA mbele yangu daima, Kwa kuwa yuko kuumeni kwangu, sitaondoshwa.
|Vol. 21 Issue 2 Nov. 2014
The Modern Linguist was birthed from the desire to unite those who study in the world languages discipline at Whitworth University. The newsletter features information, news and stories applicable to those involved in the program. Let it serve you well.
World Languages & Cultures Department
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Jennifer Brown
Editor: Stacey Moo
For student employment information, please contact Stacey Moo, program assistant, at 509.777.4765