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Around Cornerstone: News

Oh, The Things You Can Do With A Second Language!

For these Cornerstone Alumni, learning a second language has created endless opportunities, both locally and abroad.  Today, they share how foreign language plays a vital role in relationships with our neighbors, our colleagues, and with our Creator. 

"God ALWAYS gives us what we need to do HIS great Commission." Mrs. Xiomara Vehrs

 

Malachi Aldridge - Class of ’18

How did the Cornerstone Foreign Language program prepare you for life beyond high school? 

Through studying Spanish at Cornerstone, my opportunities were expanded drastically. I chose Spanish as my minor at Kennesaw State, and I was blessed with several opportunities for language exchange programs. Learning to communicate in another language has helped to improve my confidence in speaking with strangers. I am able to critically think about and present material in two languages now. It also influenced the way I approach language learning. While teaching a dance workshop in Egypt, I was able to pick up phrases and words in both Arabic and French because I had the foundational knowledge of how to learn another language. Practice is the best way to improve any skill, and Cornerstone’s Foreign Language program certainly prepares me to further my education.

How has learning the Spanish language expanded opportunities for you?

I’ve used Spanish in two of my jobs (both as a behavioral therapist and as an insurance agent) to communicate with clients in the language most comfortable for them. I’ve also gotten to use it in my travels. I’ve taught dance in Monterrey, and I will be teaching in Lima once some in-person learning restrictions are resolved. As a Romance language, Spanish even helped me when I was staying at a French convent in Alexandria. While the nuns only spoke French and Arabic, there were enough similarities between the French and Spanish that we were able to decipher each other’s meaning. It’s incredible to think back on the many opportunities that have arisen from learning a second language!

What would you tell younger students about learning a second language?

Don’t be afraid to practice. It is so easy to feel inadequate while speaking in your non-native tongue. This sometimes causes anxiety and keeps us from really going for it! Remember that spoken language is a key component in how we proclaim our story to the world. Communication is so powerful, and learning another language increases your ability to both learn and share knowledge. If we think back to the dawn of Creation, the first thing that happened is, “God said.” As image bearers of his, we also have power in our words.

 

Danny Kotula- Class of ‘19

How did the Cornerstone Foreign Language program prepare you for life beyond high school? 

Cornerstone was where I realized how interested I was in learning and speaking Spanish. It didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to go beyond what CPA offered, and I quickly found I loved the language and culture. Taking Spanish with Sra. Vehrs was what made me fall in love with the subject, and being fluent is now a huge piece of my identity and one of my big passions.

How has learning the Spanish language expanded opportunities for you?

After loving both my years learning under Sra. Vehrs, I transitioned to taking dual enrollment Spanish classes at Kennesaw State. By the time I graduated, I had picked up 15 Spanish credits that I brought with me to college. Those credits gave me the flexibility to study abroad and even graduate a semester early while developing my Spanish abilities. Once I graduate, I’m headed to Bolivia and Peru for 10 months on a Fulbright grant to break the poverty cycle for indigenous people using public relations.
 
What would you tell younger students about learning a second language?

Learning a second language is one of the best things I ever decided to do, and I went way farther than I ever thought I’d be able to. You absolutely can and should learn a second language, too!

Bella Souza- Class of ‘21

How did the Cornerstone Foreign Language program prepare you for life beyond high school?

The Cornerstone Foreign Language program revealed a passion in me that I never knew I had. I grew to LOVE learning Spanish. After taking three years of Spanish at Cornerstone, I knew that I wanted to continue studying it in college. College level Spanish was definitely a step up from high school Spanish, but while many of my college peers were struggling, I was able to help them because of the Spanish foundation I received through Cornerstone. My dream after graduating college is to be able to teach overseas or be a Spanish teacher myself. I know that God has given me this desire and ability to learn Spanish and I am thankful that Cornerstone has provided me with the tools I needed to succeed. 

How has learning the Spanish language expanded opportunities for you?

One of my favorite things about learning Spanish is that it has challenged me to be more outgoing and has allowed me to speak to so many people from around the world that I wouldn't be able to otherwise. Not only has Spanish been a way I have met many of my college friends, but it also is beneficial at my job where sometimes the only form of communication is Spanish. 

What would you tell younger students about learning a second language?

Learning a language can seem very daunting and sometimes impossible but if you are truly passionate about it you will be able to achieve it. With consistency and a little bit of practice each day you will soon be surprised by how much you know. Second languages are super beneficial and you will find yourself using them more than you think! No te rindas!  

Here at Cornerstone, we have numerous clubs that our secondary students can choose from, including Spanish club! These clubs give our students a chance to explore a new interest and meet with like-minded students. Don’t forget, today, August 24, is the deadline to sign up for a student life club in the Student Life Google Classroom.

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