Hundreds of students visit Españolandia

MARQUETTE — Hundreds of students from around 10 different high schools, who are in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of Spanish got to put their education to the test.

The University Center at NMU was full of students who came to visit Españolandia.

“Españolandia is supposed to be an actual country,” said NMU Spanish Student Amy Anderson, “so we’re trying to make it as real as possible.”

“There are so many students that don’t have the opportunity to travel abroad,” said West Iron County Spanish Teacher Jennifer Berlinski, “so this is as close as they can get; to talking to natives, bargaining at the stores, and talking to their peers in Spanish.”

“It’s definitely a unique learning experience, “said NMU Senior Emily Girdham, “it’s definitely outside of a classroom setting. We’re in the U.P., it’s not exactly easy to find a lot of Spanish speakers.”

NMU professors and students helped with the event.

Quiz Bowl, show and tell, skits, songs, and all social interaction, are required to be spoken in Spanish. If students fail to abide by these rules, they must suffer the consequences from the policía.

“Often they’ll try to lie to me,” added Girdham, “are you lying to me is what I’ll ask them. Then if they give you that deer in the headlights look I will take them to el carcel, which means the jail.”

A large number of students who were not in jail played Spanish versions of Apples to Apples, Scrabble, or watched songs performed in Spanish by other students.

While the performances were entertaining and amusing, they also bring learning to another level.

“This truly does help. To be honest, it’s pretty hard for me at first,” said Ishpeming Junior Ashok Ravindran, “it took a lot of preparation to understand the words, repeating them, and learning them.”

Españolandia has been an incredibly popular event for thousands of high school Spanish students since its inception 1991.

For more information about language programs and degrees offered at NMU, click here.

About the Author

Caleb Scanlon
Caleb M. Scanlon is a reporter for ABC 10 / CW 5 and joined the news team in 2015. He grew up in Negaunee, where he attended Negaunee High School. Caleb completed his Bachelor's degree in Media Production and New Technologies from Northern Michigan University with a minor in Communication Studies. Caleb interned with ABC 10 / CW 5 in the fall of 2014. During his free time, Caleb enjoys spending time with his wife Samantha, his kids Fred and Lucy, and his cats Scotty, Remus, and Fitzgerald. Caleb plays a multitude of musical instruments and performs in a band called Concord Through Keys. When there isn't snow on the ground, Caleb can often be found at Al-Quaal playing disc golf.