Recently 11 of my students in Advanced Spanish and Spanish 2 joined me at Guts Church for their Hispanic worship service. I’ve been telling my advanced students all year that the only thing left for them to do is to put themselves in some real-life speaking situations, and this was an important step towards fluency for each of them.
The worship was powerful, and we loved singing along in Spanish to songs we were already familiar with. When the pastor began preaching, the students adjusted quickly with wide eyes, realizing that listening would require a lot of concentration. But afterward, numerous students shared with me that they were pleasantly surprised by how much they could understand.
After service, we spoke with the worship pastor who is from the Dominican Republic and one of the singers, who is from Venezuela, and I was reminded again of our ultimate goal, which I shared with my students in class today. It is always about people. The more languages you can speak, the more people you can know, share your life with, and share Jesus with.
They can listen and participate well in class, read a myriad of Spanish-language novels, and eventually become a Spanish-speaker. Yes, knowing Spanish will help you in the workforce, will sharpen your mind, and will improve your memory. But the most important reason they are learning another language is because of what will happen outside the four walls of my classroom. More than anything, I want my students to know that Spanish will help them to know and share Jesus with more people.
We hope to partner with them for a Hispanic outreach in the future. It was an honor to take them somewhere a little outside their comfort zone, and I look forward to doing it again soon!