Shana, a social worker in Queens, says of her four years of Spanish classes at Rennert:
"I began my studies at Rennert, not knowing a single word in Spanish. Over the course of the four years I studied at Rennert, I was exposed to several different teachers from various countries (Uruguay, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Cuba), which helped me learn about the differences within the Latino community and gain a grasp of the different accents and common expressions in each country. After receiving my graduate degree in social work, I interviewed for a position which required conducting sessions with clients in Spanish. At the end of my verbal Spanish examination with a new co-worker, she said that my skills were excellent, that I had a good understanding of the language and was able to connect with her through the language. And, I got the job!"
What do you like most about the class you are taking?
"The connections I made with the various teachers (whom I still keep in touch with), the diversity of the students attending classes and the teachers conducting them. I also love the varied nature of the curriculum, and that each teacher has the creative ability to bring their own hobbies and interests to the course.
I never know what each class will bring-from playing games to doing flash cards, watching movies, presenting articles and having 'fiestas con vino, queso y aceitunas' the hour and a half is filled with laughter and learning."
The reason I chose Rennert over other schools was the very small and intimate class sizes (maximum of about five to six students) and the ability to tailor studies to the student's interests and needs, including extending courses for an indefinite period of time. As anyone who has ever learned a second language knows, the process takes a lifetime!
Why did you decide to begin studying Spanish?
"Growing up in a small suburban town outside of Philadelphia, barely anyone in my high school was proficient or fluent in another language. When I came to New York after college, I was shocked to discover that being monolingual meant that I was in the minority! I quickly realized that if I wanted to be truly helpful to my clients and the community at large in the field of social work in New York, gaining mastery over the Spanish language was a must!"