Out of many, one lan­guage

Jamaica Gleaner - - TODAY -

Span­ish carol ser­vice a hit with stu­dents

STU­DENTS OF Span­ish from var­i­ous ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions across the is­land gath­ered re­cently at the Web­ster Memo­rial United Church in St An­drew to cel­e­brate the birth of Je­sus in a carol ser­vice con­ducted en­tirely in Span­ish.

Stu­dents ex­pe­ri­enced a full im­mer­sion in Span­ish cul­ture through par­tic­i­pa­tion in the read­ing of Bi­ble verses and singing of tra­di­tional and mod­ern car­ols in Span­ish.

The over­all objective was to have Span­ish lan­guage stu­dents use what they have learnt and be ex­posed to this as­pect of the cul­ture.

“Over the years, with this ac­tiv­ity, I have seen stu­dents gain con­fi­dence not only in the lan­guage, but in them­selves,” said Emma-June Bell, founder and co­or­di­na­tor of the Na­tional Span­ish Carol Ser­vice.

“The class­room set­ting is great, but to con­tinue to mo­ti­vate our stu­dents, we must set them goals out­side of the text­book and make ev­ery day a mem­o­rable con­nec­tion for them,” Bell said.

“In Ja­maica, there’s noth­ing quite like Christ­mas, so con­nect­ing Span­ish cul­ture and lan­guage to a time that ev­ery Ja­maican child knows well makes this carol ser­vice a pow­er­ful learn­ing tool. It’s also highly en­ter­tain­ing,” she added.


For the 11th stag­ing, the Em­bassy of Spain en­cour­aged the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Span­ish­s­peak­ing coun­tries with em­bassies and con­sulates in Ja­maica.

“We in­vited other em­bassies to share car­ols and pop­u­lar read­ings with the stu­dents this year, to en­sure we con­tinue to ex­pand their learn­ing in ad­di­tion to show­ing our col­lec­tive ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the re­cep­tion of the Span­ish lan­guage and cul­ture here in Ja­maica,” said Car­men Rives Ruiz-Tapi­ador, chargé d’af­faires of the Em­bassy of Spain.

“The in­clu­sion of other Span­ish-speak­ing coun­tries apart from Spain is an in­di­ca­tor that Span­ish lan­guage is shared and has ex­panded. This year’s par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Em­bassy of the United States of Amer­ica is fur­ther demon­stra­tion of the ex­pan­sion and in­clu­sive­ness of the lan­guage. The United States is home to more Rev­erend As­tor Car­lyle (left), min­is­ter of Web­ster Memo­rial United Church wel­comes chargé d’af­faires of the Em­bassy of Spain, Car­men Rives RuizTapi­ador, while Arch­bishop of Kingston Ken­neth Richards looks on, at the Na­tional Span­ish Carol Ser­vice held on Tues­day, Novem­ber 22.

Span­ish speak­ers than in Spain it­self,” RuizTapi­ador said.

The event which was en­dorsed by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Youth and In­for­ma­tion stands as an ex­cel­lent model for cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties that en­cour­ages bilin­gual­ism, a tool of dis­tinc­tion in today’s mar­ket place.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Spain, the United States, Mex­ico, Nicaragua, Do­mini­can Repub­lic, El Sal­vador worked with Crayon Col­lege, Cal­abar High School, Short­wood Teach­ers’ Col­lege, Hil­lel Academy, Mead­ow­brook High School, Nor­man Man­ley High School, Holy Child­hood High School, Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion High School, The Mu­sic House, Ex­cel­sior High School, Kingston Tech­ni­cal High School, Con­vent of Mercy Academy, St Ge­orge’s Col­lege, Al­pha In­sti­tute, Port­more Mis­sion­ary Prepara­tory, Half-Way Tree Pri­mary, Bus­ta­mante High School, Prom­ise Learn­ing Cen­tre, and Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional School of Kingston, to make this year’s stag­ing a re­al­ity.


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