learn lingo

Students in Spanish club reflect on what they’ve learned


Provided by Elliot Dillion

Travel to international countries is open to the entire student body. “Any student is eligible to go on our international trips,” Spanish teacher Ashley Dense said. “It doesn’t matter if they are in a Spanish class or a part of the Spanish club.”

Noah Cook, Staff Writer

   When joining Nixa High School’s Spanish club, students are placed in a stress free environment and are determined to learn more about Spanish culture and the language.
Spanish teacher Ashley Dense is the sponsor of the club.
“I use the club funds to buy snacks and supplies,” Dense said. “I try to let the Spanish club officers take charge and plan most of the events and activities. I help them with anything they need related to that. Ideally, I am just here to help and let students lead the club.”
Any student can join the club, even if they are not in a Spanish class.
“Spanish club is for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Spanish language and culture,” Dense said. “We celebrate common Spanish speaking holidays and many students use this club as a way to extend their knowledge of what they are already learning in their current Spanish classes.”
Senior Hannah Montgomery, the secretary of the Spanish club, said the club offers something different.
“If a person is in a Spanish class and wants to learn more about the culture of Latin American countries or if they are not in a Spanish class but they are still interested in the Spanish language and traditions, then Spanish club is an amazing opportunity to get involved in a laid back way,” Montgomery said.
Sophomore and Vice President Sailor Powley said the Spanish club has helped her with learning.
“As someone who is learning a language, opportunities to speak Spanish outside of class are extremely beneficial,” Powley said. “The environment of the Spanish club allows me to become more confident in my Spanish speaking abilities.”
Students in the Spanish club partake in various activities and holidays to learn more about Spanish culture.
“In the past, we did more field trips, but COVID has limited what we can do because there are not as many events that we can attend,” Dense said. “In the past, we went to a Day of the Dead festival at Missouri State to celebrate that holiday and to learn more about the tradition. We hope that we will be able to attend more events like that in the future. At school, we have had holiday celebrations, movie days, trivia days and craft days.”
Unlike Spanish class and the stress that comes with it, Spanish club is a relaxed way to learn about Spanish culture.
“The Spanish club is really laid back; usually meetings are centered around some kind of celebration,” Montgomery said. “We celebrate a lot of Latin American holidays or practice Latin American traditions for other holidays (like Christmas or New Year). There’s usually snacks and sometimes we watch movies or make crafts.”
The Spanish club opens potential new perspectives in a world view with others.
“It is a good opportunity to meet other students that share the same interests and to gain a new perspective of the world we live in,” Dense said.
The benefits of learning a second language increases career opportunities
even in a small area.
“Knowing more about other cultures and languages can open up many career opportunities,” Dense said. “We really like to encourage our students to continue learning languages because there is such a high need for bilingual employees, even right here in the Ozarks. Even if you aren’t fluent in a language, learning more about other people, their traditions, and their language can teach you to have empathy and to be more accepting of other people, and you can learn about this in the Spanish club.”