The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Cultura, arte e idioma: Learning about Culture, Art, and Language in the Spanish Language Circle


Kamila Moreno, Rosa Naranjo, and Maria Camarena, from left to right. (Photographed by Ariana Espinoza)

The CSU Stanislaus Writing Center puts together the Spanish Language Circle for students of all backgrounds to have space to connect in Spanish. On select Monday nights from 5-6 p.m., students can stop by to learn more about the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. 

Whether students are fluent in Spanish, need a refresher, or are ready to learn a new language, the Spanish Language Circle is for everyone. Meetings are set up in a very open and conversational way. With each week comes a new topic, as well as new phrases for attendees to learn and recite. A slideshow presentation is shown and as the group goes through each slide, attendees take turns saying conversational phrases in Spanish. Fluent Spanish speakers give helpful tips on pronunciation and overall encourage any new learners.

Rosa Naranjo (senior, Liberal Studies), who helps lead the Spanish Language Circle, explained their goals.

“To connect native students with other Spanish speaker students, and also to connect with non-native students who want to learn Spanish and more about the Spanish culture,” she said. 

Kamila Moreno (junior, Business Administration) says that creating this welcoming space is ultimately the goal of these meetings. As she helps coordinate these meetings and prepare new topics about Hispanic culture, she expresses great passion about these important topics.

“It’s the beauty of learning about it,” she said.

She brings the beauty of learning by giving examples of her own culture during the meetings.

During a past meeting, Kamila and Rosa Naranjo shared some colorful images from their childhood spent doing folklore dance. Attendees learned that in traditional folklore dance, the style of dress and hair was telling of the region the dancers came from.

These dances, however, represented so much more, according to Naranjo.

“It tells the culture and the historical events that happened in Mexico,” she said.

According to Maria Camarena, lecturer in the English Department, the idea of hosting the Spanish Language Circle started in February of this year.

As a part of the Writing Center at Stanislaus State, Camarena believes in the Writing Center’s mission about “acknowledging students’ command of multiple literacies and valuing those literacies.” 

So, with the help of her colleagues in the Writing Center, they put together the idea for the Language Circle. After looking through data about Stanislaus State’s student body, they decided on Spanish being the first language to be covered in this semester’s meetings.

While the Spanish Language Circle is still a new organization on campus, with its first meetings having just started up this fall, coordinators and attendees can look forward to the upcoming meetings.

While this semester focuses on the Spanish language and its culture, Camarena added that the Writing Center hopes to focus on more languages in the future.

After this academic year, the Language Circle crew is hoping to plan meetings based on Tagalog or Mandarin language and culture. Based on statistics at Stan State, as well as the availability of speakers to help lead these meetings, Tagalog and Mandarin are the two prime candidates.

The next meeting will take place December 5. You can find more information and future dates of meetings on the Stanislaus State Writing Center instagram. You can also email the Writing Center for more information at [email protected]. Come ready to learn new phrases in Spanish, learn more about the Hispanic culture, and connect with other Spanish speakers.

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Cultura, arte e idioma: Learning about Culture, Art, and Language in the Spanish Language Circle