Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

New resident to lead Spanish club for all ages next week at library


January 11, 2018

Spanish speakers and aspiring learners can immerse themselves in conversation or just learn the basics at the inaugural Haines Spanish language meeting this month.

New Haines resident Sue Chasen said she had the idea to start a Spanish language club after recently helping a home school student with their Spanish homework.

“I’ve been interested in Spanish for a really long time,” Chasen said. As a geologist, she worked in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, where Spanish is the primary language. She also lived in New Mexico for almost 30 years, where Spanish is commonly spoken.

“I’m not fluent, but I’m not bad,” Chasen said.

When she moved north to Juneau and Washington state Chasen said she taught English as a second language to Spanish speakers and took a conversation class to keep her foreign language skills sharp.

“There seems to be a lot of people in town who have some knowledge of Spanish,” Chasen said.

She said students who are currently learning Spanish in school, people who have studied it in the past, people who often travel to Spanish speaking countries or people who work in industries where Spanish is often spoken could benefit from having a forum to speak the language.

“Conversation is really important to improve learning. It improves confidence, and mistakes can be corrected,” Chasen said. “It wasn’t until I got immersed in the language that it all came together.”

Chasen said the first meeting will be informal. The structure and time of meetings can change depending on interest and skill level of attendees. Meetings can include casual conversations, basic lessons in grammar and vocabulary, discussions of culture and more.

The first meeting is set for Thursday, January 18 at 6 p.m. at the library. People of all skill levels are welcome to attend. Call Chasen at 766-2083 with questions.


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