Watch the Video: Emma’s story as a Spanish Major

An innovative and hands-on approach from UW-Green Bay Spanish faculty help Emma learn and understand the Spanish language.  After her study abroad experience in Spain, Emma resolved to pursue a double major in Spanish and Social Work at UW-Green Bay. The ability to learn from native speakers of the language and understand the culture will benefit Emma’s career in social work. Being able to speak both English and Spanish removes those language barriers and specifically in social work, where clients are often sharing personal, vulnerable experiences that are so much easier to do in their native language. Listen to Emma’s story below.

Transcript: I decided to double major in Spanish at UW-Green Bay after I Studied Abroad in Spain. I came in with a bunch of Spanish credits from high school and so studying abroad fulfilled the minor and I figured afterwards I may as well just take those few classes to make it a major as well. And I think majoring in Spanish will definitely help in the social work field because it removes those language barriers and really helps improve relationships with the clients. The Spanish program here at GB is very hands-on because it is just a direct practice of the language. You know there’s no better way to improve your skills than to speak the language, listen to it and especially the upper-level ones cuz that’s where you get into you know the fun topics. I’ve taken classes about movies or literature or Latin American popular culture. And what I really enjoyed about them is that no matter the topic you’re discussing they all have a cultural aspect to them. So, not only are you practicing your Spanish-speaking skills but you’re learning about cultures from different countries. The professors in the Spanish program at Green Bay are very kind you can tell they definitely care about their student success and they really encourage you to improve your Spanish both by the listening and speaking. And a lot of them are native speakers so that helps with listening because you get to hear the different accents. At my social work internship, Spanish has been really helpful. There was a meeting I was sitting in on where we had a Spanish interpreter on the phone but the call cut out, so then everyone kind of turned to me to help facilitate this conversation and in that moment, I was very proud of myself that you know I have that ability to bridge the language gap and communicate with this client so she can receive the services that she needed. Being able to speak both English and Spanish is helpful in any career path because it removes those language barriers and specifically to social work, clients are often sharing personal vulnerable experiences that is so much easier to do in your native language.

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