The Modern Linguist

France Study Tour, Spring 2016

Bendi Benson Schrambach, Professor of French

France Study Tour

On Feb. 9, 2016, nine Whitworth students embarked on the 14th iteration of the France Study Program. The adventure began in Toulouse. The "Ville Rose" (Pink City), so called because of the many pinkish-orange brick edifices, was voted "best city for university students" because of its friendly citizens, clement climate, and abundant activities for young people.

Among those activities enjoyed by Whitworth students were museums, cafés, walking and gastronomic tours, day trips to the Catholic pilgrimage site of Lourdes and the 2,000-year old medieval city of Carcassonne, and hours shared at the table over multiple courses of French cuisine. During their three weeks in Toulouse, not only did the students become familiar with the history, culture and overall ethos of France's fourth-largest city but, between their lodgings in homestays and French coursework, they learned quite a bit of French!

Photos courtesy of Bendi Schrambach

France Study Tour

As one of the team leaders, I would be hard-pressed to say what I love the most about this program. No one makes pastries or baguettes or cheese or foie gras or duck confit or... quite like the French. But over and above the impressive cuisine and architecture, the abundant artwork, amazing history and complex culture of France, immersive experiences such as this allow students to catch a glimpse of the interconnectedness of all knowledge as well as their (small but significant) part in it all. Gothic cathedrals and delicate stained-glass windows, for example, can only be fully appreciated when compared to the sturdy Romanesque constructions that preceded them. Similarly, French expressions like "Ce n'est pas très Catholique" (literally, "That's not very Catholic," but figuratively, "That seems suspicious/not very orthodox/not on the up-and-up") become more understandable in light of the longstanding influence of the Church in France evidenced in the awe-inspiring cathedrals, colossal basilica and other vestiges of the faith so pervasive throughout the Hexagon. The interdisciplinary dialogue promoted by this program begins to illuminate the richness of a liberal-arts education.

We hope that you will consider joining us on our next go-round in 2019. Indeed, we hope that you will simply take advantage of this time of your life (pre-mortgage, pre-adult responsibilities, pre-bébés) to participate in any study-abroad opportunity. You'll never regret it.

A List of Things I Learned in Guatemala

Nikki Olsen, '16, Chemistry Major

Nikki Olsen

As many of you may know from my numerous photo spams on Facebook feeds, I went to Guatemala for the month of January. I can't believe it's already over, after applying, crying over my acceptance, and preparing for a year. I can chalk up my experience in Guatemala to being one of the greatest highlights of college, and of my life.

I learned a lot, more than I can put into just a few paragraphs. But I figured a list would make it more clear-cut and organized, not to mention comprehendible.

Here it is:
1. Underneath all the differences, we are all the same at the end of the day.

Okay, that's it. Actually, I started writing a list of things I learned, got to 20, and stopped when I realized they could all be summed up in this one statement.

Guatemala, January 2016

Photo courtesy of Camina Hirota

This trip was extremely hard for me. I felt like I stuck out. I felt awkward. I felt horrible for not being up to date on Guatemala's history, and I learned some heartbreaking things. My own beliefs and convictions were greatly challenged, and a few positions I held were shattered.

I would go home, sit at the table with my host family speaking and understanding a language not native to me, and would be so overwhelmed. At first it was not a good overwhelmed. I felt so inadequate. I couldn't communicate, and I felt like I couldn't understand not only their language but their culture. But I sat there at dinner every night, and after the first couple of days, conversations came easier. Laughter filled the house, and their smiles were the best part of my day. For a month I was their daughter. And that was the greatest honor I could've ever been given.

One night, I felt like I was drowning. But this time I was overwhelmed with love. These people are God's children. Guatemala is God's country. He created it with my host family in mind. He created it for each one of them, knowing them fully. He knows their language and their culture. And for the first time, I think I got a glimpse of God's love for humanity.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8).

We are all the same. We are his children, and so loved by a God I can't even begin to comprehend. There is no greater love. He is immense. He is indescribable. He put that family in my life and I can never say thank you enough.

The last night I was there, each person said a good-bye. Then it was my turn. Once again, I didn't have the words, but I didn't need them. I just knew. And I know they did, too. I just pray that, every day, I see the world a little more like Jesus does. It's not easy, but no one said this life was easy. I know for a fact that trip wasn't easy, and if you ever want to know more, please shoot me a message. I'd love to talk about it.

Guatemala was a life-changing trip, but whether I decide to let it change my life is up to me. Remind me each day, Lord, of the amazing promises and prayers you fulfilled and answered there. Use it to change me. That way, maybe we can change the world in turn, one small step at a time.

"Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Colossians 3:14)

Announcements and Upcoming Events

4th Annual 5 v. 5 Soccer Tournament

Join us on Friday, May 13, from 4-6 p.m. for the World Languages & Cultures' annual soccer tournament! Three-game guarantee, limited team slots available. Sign up at the HUB Info Desk by 3 p.m. on May 6. Teams are co-ed and open to all Whitworth faculty, staff and students. Free food and prizes!

Questions? Contact Rachelle Hartvigsen at the WLC desk ( or x4765) or Katherine Karr-Cornejo ( or x4371).

Senior Breakfast
Saturday, May 21, 9:30-11 a.m.
Crow's Nest in the Hixson Union Building

Enjoy this time for your professors to celebrate YOU - your accomplishments, adventures and future plans - with your families!

You are a guest of the department and you may purchase additional tickets for your own guests. $10/per person, payable by check (made out to Whitworth University) or cash (exact amount only).

We're putting together a slideshow to run during the breakfast and would love to feature you - and your friends - in WLC-related events and trips, of course! Get photos to Rachelle ASAP so everyone can see how much fun it is to be a part of the World Languages & Cultures department.

RSVP for the breakfast by April 29 to Rachelle Hartvigsen, WLC program assistant, at or x4765.

Language Proficiency Exams

Language proficiency refers to one's ability to use language for real-world purposes to accomplish real-world linguistic tasks across a wide range of topics and settings. ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Tests reflect and measure these real-world tasks. Unlike an achievement test, which measures knowledge of specific information (what a person knows), a proficiency test targets what an individual can do with what one knows. As in a driver's test, an achievement test would represent the paper-and-pencil questions that one answers, while a proficiency test determines how well the person can drive the car. The language proficiency test is an evaluation of how well a person can use language to communicate in real life.

Do you need to complete the program requirement of language proficiency for your major? You can schedule an oral proficiency interview (OPI) convenient to your schedule and have it proctored by a faculty/staff member in the department. For more information, check out the Language Testing International website at or contact Rachelle Hartvigsen at or x4765.

DELE: Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language

The DELE test provides an official accreditation of a student's degree of fluency in the Spanish language. The accreditation is issued by the Spanish Ministry of Education and is an internationally recognized certification. The test provides students an official means to demonstrate their level of fluency to potential employers. It measures fluency and accuracy across reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students interested in taking the DELE must take the online placement test to determine which level is right for them. Students should make a well-informed decision in this regard, since it is a pass/fail assessment. Please note that Whitworth faculty members are currently certified to offer the B1, B2 and C1 exams. Students wishing to take other levels may do so at other testing sites.

The next testing date is Friday, April 15, 2016. The registration deadline is Friday, March 18.

For more information, please contact Rachelle Hartvigsen ( or x4765) or Angeles Aller ( or x4205).

Talita Cumi

Attention Graduating Female Spanish Majors!
Volunteer Position Available

We are looking for female volunteers with Spanish skills and a heart for children. Come June we are opening a home in Cochabamba, Bolivia for 20 orphaned and abused children ages 0-5 years old. The vision of the home is to provide loving support in a Christian environment. We are looking for recent female graduates who commit to come down for a year and work as caretakers in the home.

Cochabamba, Bolivia

Room and board will be provided for- along with all food. As of right now we have no paid positions available so it would be support based. The volunteer is responsible to raise her own support which includes:

  • Roundtrip ticket to Bolivia (about $900.00),
  • Visa costs ($300.00)
  • Monthly costs apart from housing and food (around $200- $300) a month for transportation, travel, and extra activities.
Cochabamba, Bolivia

The home itself is on the outskirts of the 3rd largest city in Bolivia. Volunteers will either have their own room and bathroom or will share with one other person. Volunteers will be expected to work a full schedule, but will have free time on weekends to explore the city, travel a bit, and experience living abroad for a year. You will be working with a full Bolivian staff.

More information can be found at:

Interested? Contact: or Facebook: Shelly Castro

Scripture of the Month

English: Exodus 14:14
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.


سَيُحارِبُ اللهُ عَنكُمْ، وَأنتُمْ صامِتُونَ.

Chinese: 出埃及记
耶和華必為你們爭戰你們必須安靜 不要作聲.

French: Exode 14:14
L'Eternel combattra pour vous, et vous, tenez-vous tranquilles.

Spanish: Éxodo 14:14
Ustedes quédense quietos, que el Señor presentará batalla por ustedes.

Vol. 22 Issue 3 March 2016

The Modern Linguist was birthed from the desire to unite those who study in the world languages discipline at Whitworth University. The newsletter features information, news and stories applicable to those involved in the program. Let it serve you well.

World Languages & Cultures Department
Westminster Hall
Whitworth University
Phone: 509.777.4765
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Jennifer Brown
Editor: Rachelle Hartvigsen
For student employment information, please contact Rachelle Hartvigsen, program assistant, at 509.777.4765