STORY BY JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF
GRAPHIC BY ALYXIUS TORRES
Are you or someone that you may know interested in learning more about Hispanic culture? Should a foreign language be required in public high schools? This week’s feature is on Fort Hays State University’s Spanish Club.
Sofia Tiscareno, in her third year of being the Spanish Club’s Treasurer, speaks on what the Spanish Club intends to accomplish for students at FHSU.
“The purpose of Spanish Club is to bring together people that enjoy learning and practicing the Spanish Language through a multitude of different events,” Tiscareno said. “Our overall mission is to provide a safe place to practice Spanish.”
She continues by describing one of her favorite Spanish Club events that has become a tradition over the last few years – a virtual talent show that has been held both in-person and on Zoom.
“I have been one of the performers and have danced various dance styles,” she said. “For the Virtual Talent Show in the Spring of 2021 for my dance solo I won both the Judges’ 1st Place Award and the Fan Favorite Award. I look forward to competing again.”
Spanish Club President Madison Stanton mentioned many other activities the Spanish Club puts on, including movie nights and tutoring sessions for those struggling to learn Spanish.
“We are also starting to reintroduce Tertulia, which is where we meet up and practice our Spanish-speaking skills,” Stanton said. “We usually chat or play games during Tertulia.”
Stanton then touches on her personal beliefs as to whether public high schools should require their students to take a foreign language course.
“Personally, I do think learning a foreign language should be required. The United States is one of the few countries that doesn’t require it in its curriculum,” she said. “Learning another language can help provide a greater understanding of someone’s mother tongue. Especially when talking about grammar.”
Tiscareno agrees with Stanton’s stance on the subject matter.
“I feel like a foreign language should be required in public high schools, but it does not have to be Spanish. Mandarin, German, and French are great languages too,” she said.
Tiscareno backs up this statement with the benefits that are included with speaking more than one language saying it opens doors.
“Bilingual people have more job opportunities as they can speak to different clientele in other countries,” she said. “A certificate and/or a minor in a foreign language make a great addition to any degree field.”
Tiscareno is also the President of two other clubs at Fort Hays. She is a major advocate for being involved in the many organizations that FHSU has to offer.
“I love being involved. Getting involved helps to build a network, create friendships, and learn leadership skills that can be applied to the workplace as well as everyday life,” Tiscareno said.
She goes on to dismantle one of the biggest misunderstandings about the Spanish Club.
“I think sometimes students get intimidated by the idea of a club that surrounds a language. You do not need to be Hispanic or even know Spanish to join,” she said. “All you need is an open mind that appreciates the language.”
Stanton builds off of Tiscareno’s statement.
“I think a common misconception is that people think they have to know the language before joining the club,” Stanton said. “We are mainly focused on simply helping people learn. Anyone from beginner to expert is welcome.”
Spanish Club is sponsored by FHSU’s Modern Language Department and is open to students within all departments. The next Spanish Club meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Monday in Rarick 339.
More information on Spanish Club can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SpanishClubFHSU/ or their Tigerlink which can be found at https://tigerlink.fhsu.edu/organization/spanishclub