The Modern Linguist

Faculty Spotlight

Kim Hernandez, Instructor of Spanish

I have been thinking a lot about the "seasons" of life lately and the good framework God gives us in His Word about expecting them, embracing them and celebrating them. Ecclesiastes 3 offers us wisdom, encouragement and hope about the many changing times we face throughout our lives. I love the way the passage begins in the Spanish NIV translation with the adjective "oportuno," which can be translated "due," "convenient" or "well-timed." I need that reminder from the Lord that the seasons and changes in my life are always according to His tiempo oportuno…His well-timed, due, convenient, perfect timing in my journey through life. No other season in my life has caused me to turn to God more than this year as my twin sons, Isaiah and Ilan, left for college – both out of state, at different universities!

Kim HernandezAll the excitement, anticipation and pride of their high-school senior year vanished last August when I had to leave them at their respective campuses and come home to an empty house … Okay, not empty, since my wonderful husband is still there, but from a mom's perspective it feels pretty empty! After some tearful days in September, I realized that it's okay to miss my sons terribly and look forward to the times I will see them during the school year, but I can also embrace and celebrate this new season for them and for myself. By God's grace, my boys are pursuing the interests and passions that God planted in their hearts; they are diligent students; and they are devoted followers of Christ. Likewise, I have the opportunity to see God's work in their lives from a new perspective, as well as to devote my time to the work that He puts before me at Whitworth and in our community.

I also have another new season of life coming up during Jan Term and spring semester – sabbatical. The idea of spending so much time away from campus, classrooms and my students and colleagues, makes me a bit sad. I like the routine and familiarity of each day in the classes I have taught for many years, and the joy of spending time with students and hearing their stories. Admittedly, a break from late-night grading isn't bad, but honestly I will miss reading what my students think about literature that has affected me in profound ways. However, God's Word asks us to take time to rest, to change direction, to be renewed. So I am ready for this new season and am expecting God to be in the center of it, inviting me to celebrate it and be renewed by it.

I know that students go through many changes within their college season. I want to encourage you to find purpose, joy and new perspective in whatever change may be happening in your life right now. No matter what it is, His Word promises it is well-timed, and that He will take care of you along the way. See you next fall … ¡Hasta Pronto y Qué Dios les bendiga!

Eye on Alumni

Annie Aeschbacher, '12, Spanish Major

Annie Aeschbacher

Since I was little, I was drawn to Latin America. As a girl I was fascinated with stories about its history and culture, and would often daydream about what it would be like to go there – or live there – someday. Growing up in a predominantly white, suburban context, I can only trace this early love back to God. God knew long before I did how significant the people, places and cultures of Latin America would be in my life; how they would inspire and encourage my faith and my passion; how they would gift me with deep hospitality, generosity, fortitude and grace; and how all of this would affirm a passion and purpose in my life to stand for and with the vulnerable in our midst, knowing that in these places we find ourselves closest to God's heart. While these seeds were planted in me long before attending Whitworth, the education and opportunities that I received there were some of the most formative of my life. As a student I was able to spend a total of five months in five Central American countries, through a Spanish immersion Jan Term in Guatemala and four months on the Central America Study Program. Annie AeschbacherThese experiences deeply formed, shaped, blessed and challenged me, drawing me closer to God's heart for justice and peace in our world. The people I met and the things I learned reached to my core; parts of me came vibrantly alive, helping me discover more about who I am and who God made me to be. I left Whitworth leaning into this passion, knowing that I wanted to dedicate my life to loving, serving and investing in the Latino community that had so richly blessed me. After graduating in 2012, I spent a year living and working in Guatemala through the Young Adult Volunteer Program, a yearlong service program through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). During my year in Guatemala, I worked at a health center and a daycare in a Mayan K'iche' town about 20 minutes outside of Xela – a city already dear to my heart through my study-abroad experiences. There I gained a second family; drew closer to God's heart for justice, healing and restoration; and daily saw examples of perseverance, faith, courage, humility, joy, sacrifice, dedication and love. During my year in Guatemala, I also spent some time in Xela with InnerCHANGE – a team of missionaries who live and work as a missional order among the poor. They had become close friends on my Jan Term trip in 2010, and the team and their mission captured my heart. I loved spending time with them and the boys from the street who they work with. As I spent more time with the team, they started asking me about my future. A friend on the team told me about a program at Fuller Theological Seminary where I could get a degree in intercultural studies, incorporate classes taught in Spanish in the Centro Latino, and learn about specialized topics like children at risk. She also told me about the InnerCHANGE team in Los Angeles – a team that lives and works in a predominantly Latino neighborhood with many Spanish-speaking kids and families. Annie AeschbacherThe combination was surprising, intriguing, and – while I didn't want to admit it at the time – perfect for me. You see, I never imagined myself going to seminary or ending up in a megacity like Los Angeles. But God always has bigger plans, and He continued to extend a clear call for me to come to LA. The more I learned about the possibilities there with school and InnerCHANGE, the more excited I became. I was especially excited about the prospect of living closer to a Latino community within a U.S. context, continuing to learn from and invest in these people who God had placed so close to my heart. In fall 2014 I ended up in L.A. as a seminary student, and it's been an amazing and unexpected adventure. For the past two-plus years that I have been living in the Los Angeles area, God has grown a great love in me for this city and for the people here who have become my neighbors. God has invited me to open my eyes, ears and heart to God's heart for L.A.; to deepen my roots, and to seek the welfare of this city and of these neighbors (Jer. 29:4-5, 7). As part of this journey I have walked alongside the InnerCHANGE team as well, getting to know them and many of the kids and families in the neighborhood. The work happening in Los Angeles with InnerCHANGE has many striking parallels to ways that God has been at work in my life over the past seven years, since I first set foot in Guatemala during Jan Term. Pachaj, the Guatemalan town where I later lived for a year, is a Mayan K'iche' town; as it happens, many of the neighbors near InnerCHANGE in L.A. also speak K'iche' (a language that I would love to continue to learn). I learned and experienced more of God as healer, and seeking God's healing and restoration for MacArthur Park is a big emphasis of the L.A. team as well. Language Exchanges have started, where people from the neighborhood partner to practice English and Spanish. There are art classes for kids that integrate biblical stories and games, along with opportunities for tutoring, participating in Discovery Bible Studies, prayer walks and more. The work that is happening with kids and families connects perfectly with the hope and vision that I've had for a long time: to be able to invest in the lives of Spanish-speaking neighbors, seek the flourishing that God desires for them, and continue to learn, share and receive from them as I did so richly in Central America. After graduating from Fuller last September, God's invitation to continue to participate in this work was clear. With joy and anticipation, I'm taking the next step in following this call and entering into ministry as a full-time missionary with InnerCHANGE in Los Angeles. It has truly been a joy to begin to enter into this context in MacArthur Park and witness the deep work that God is doing in this corner of L.A. – work of healing, reconciliation and integration for children and families who are living on the margins. I'm excited to continue to share life with these neighbors, and I know that I still have much to learn and many ways to grow. I also know that God goes with and before me, and is already very present and very much at work with these neighbors who I now get to love. It is humbling to see the ways that God has woven this together over the course of my life. I know that I am still being shaped and formed by the Lord, but for now I have found a people to love and a place to call "home." I'm excited to see how God will continue to work in and through this new season, and I deeply welcome your prayers and support as I enter into this stage of ministry. If you would like to learn more, or to just have a conversation, please feel free to contact me at And please know that I am praying for you all, as God continues to work in each of you – even in the most unexpected of ways.

To learn more about the Young Adult Volunteer program, please visit:

A View from Abroad

Stephanie Soule, '17, Spanish Major

If you had told me that I would spend my final fall semester at Whitworth abroad, I would never have believed you. It's crazy to think how much can change in the course of four years, and how much of an influence Whitworth has had on my worldview. Although this is not my first time abroad, this is my first time "immersing" myself into the culture by living with a family where English is not the prominent language spoken. Stephanie SouleLuckily, I am able to communicate with them all, many thanks to the incredible Spanish professors I've had at Whitworth. I'm attending Pompeu Fabra within the City Center of Barcelona, which I quickly discovered is a very rigorous college that does not take classes and exams lightly. If I didn't have the study ethic I acquired during my years at Whitworth, I would be a lot more worried about passing my classes. With a little over a month and a half in Barcelona under my belt, I've seen more beautiful views than I thought was possible. Back home, I would always try to go hiking with my friends, and I've managed to do that while here. During the weekends I've travelled to places like Montserrat, Parc Guell and Lloret de Mar. Stephanie Soule I would do longer trips, but one can't forget to study while abroad! In addition to these excursions, I've had the full Spanish family experience with my host family here. I'm living with a single mother and two children (who only speak Spanish), but that's just my "nuclear" family. During my stay so far, I've spent every Sunday with my host mother at her mother's house, eating lunch with all of her sisters and their children. Even though my Spanish isn't the best, I've been able to communicate with every member of the family. Some of them have mercy for me and speak English every once in a while! Overall, I would say this is my favorite experience abroad. When I went on my first adventure more than two years ago, I experienced homesickness and slight culture shock (or maybe it was the 5,000 miles between myself and my home that really did it); however, Barcelona is a completely different story. Although it's an entirely different world, there's something about it all that just feels right. Maybe being older and studying international business and culture have better prepared me, but I also believe the mentality you come with is the biggest factor in making the most of any adventure.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Free Tutoring Offered to All Levels

  • German: Wednesdays, 3-4 p.m., library, room 208
  • French: Thursdays and Sundays, 8-9 p.m., Westminster Hall, room 246
  • Spanish: Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 7-9 p.m./Mondays and Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m., library, room 208

Language Proficiency Exams

Language proficiency refers to one's ability to use language for real-world purposes to accomplish real-world linguistic tasks, across a wide range of topics and settings. ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Tests reflect and measure these real-world tasks. Differing from an achievement test that measures knowledge of specific information (what a person knows), a proficiency test targets what an individual can do with what one knows. As in a driver's test, an achievement test would represent the paper-and-pencil questions that one answers, while a proficiency test determines how well the person can drive the car. The language proficiency test is an evaluation of how well a person can use language to communicate in real life.

Do you need to complete the program requirement of language proficiency for your major? You can schedule an oral proficiency interview (OPI) convenient to your schedule. For more information, check out the Language Testing International website at, or contact Rachelle Hartvigsen at or x4765.

DELE: Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language

Offered at Whitworth University Biannually!

This test provides an official accreditation of a student's degree of fluency in the Spanish language. This accreditation is issued by the Spanish Ministry of Education and is an internationally recognized certification. The test provides students an official means to demonstrate their level of fluency to potential employers. It measures fluency and accuracy across the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Students interested in taking the DELE must take the online placement test to determine which level is right for them. The placement test can be found at Students should make a well-informed decision in this regard as it is a Pass/Fail assessment. Please note that Whitworth University is currently certified to offer the B1, B2 and C1 exams. Students wishing to take other levels may do so at other testing sites.

Next exam date: April 17, 2017

Next exam date: March 17, 2017

For more information about the exam, how to register and the exam fees, please see the DELE flyer. Or contact Angeles Aller, associate professor of Spanish, at or x4205.

Scripture of the Month


2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline."


2 Timothy 1:7

"Dieu nous a donné un Esprit qui, loin de faire de nous des lâches, nous rend forts, aimants et réfléchis."


2 Timoteo 1:7

"Pues Dios no nos ha dado un espíritu de timidez, sino de poder, de amor y de dominio propio."


2. Timotheus 1.7

"Denn Gott hat uns nicht gegeben den Geist der Furcht, sondern der Kraft und der Liebe und der Besonnenheit."


提 摩 太 後 書 1:7

因为神赐给我们,不是胆怯的心, 乃是刚强、仁爱、谨守的心


2 テモテ 1:7



2 Timotheo 1:7

"Kwa maana Mungu hakutupa Roho wa kutufanya tuwe waoga, bali alitupa Roho wa kutujalia nguvu, upendo na nidhamu."


1:7 ﺍﻟﺜﺎﻧﻴﺔ ﺗﻴﻤﻮﺛﺎﻭﺱ

إن الله لم يعطنا روح الفشل، بل روح القوة والمحبة والنصح

Vol. 23 Issue 4 Feb. 2017

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
Westminster Hall
Whitworth University
Phone: 509.777.4765
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Jennifer Brown
Editor: Rachelle Hartvigsen
For student employment information, please contact Rachelle Hartvigsen, program assistant, at 509.777.4765

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