"...A few words of advice for current and future students: Get out and explore the world!..."
Alumna: Brittany Roode, '11
Program of Study: Education
Current Positions: Teacher at the International School of Tegucigalpa, Honduras
My name is Brittany Roode and I graduated in 2011 with a major in Spanish, minor in Math and a focus on Education. I'm about to begin my second year of teaching high school math at the International School of Tegucigalpa, in the capital city of Honduras. It is a bilingual school, so I do teach in English; however, I am surrounded everyday by Spanish. It is my students' native languages, and although they are supposed to speak English all the time, they more often than not speak Spanish. I take as many opportunities as I can to speak in Spanish with them and have enjoyed learning the colloquialisms of Honduran Spanish. In order to intentionally use Spanish, I have also attended Spanish-speaking churches and spent time worshiping at the Micah Project, a home for boys off the streets.
Throughout my time in Honduras, I have frequently remembered my time with the Spanish Department at Calvin. While studying, I developed a passion for linguistics, and have found myself recalling what I learned about the different dialects that are present in Central and South America. I also find myself thinking back on being a conversation group leader and the strategies I learned, such as finding simpler words to use or other ways to describe an unfamiliar word. These strategies have been helpful as I teach in my students' second language.
A few words of advice for current and future students: Get out and explore the world! Don't be afraid to move to a strange and foreign place. There is so much to discover and always something new to learn.
If you have another major or minor, such as education, see if you can find a job that uses your skills in a Spanish-speaking country. There is so much need and you will be extremely blessed.