The Modern Linguist

Students Abroad

Amy Cheng, '18, Cuba, Peace Studies/Spanish Language & Literature

Amy ChengI thought I knew resiliency before coming to Cuba. I thought that through some of the more challenging seasons of my life, the Lord was strengthening my resolve to be bulletproof. Little did I know, the Cuban people would show me that there is yet a greater boldness. Since living in Havana for the past couple of months, my eyes have seen miraculous acts of courage, while my heart has been broken little by little. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, so close to the hegemonic United States, yet enveloped in a tragically beautiful history that shapes many of its inhabitants. I have found myself shaken and unsettled, at a loss for how to engage with the reality around me, knowing that my presence here strikes a tense chord for many. Complex would be an understated description.

Amy Cheng

Despite the glaring challenges that Cubans face on a daily basis, the nature of their perseverance is not unnoticed. My Cuban family has taught me that cracking a joke and doing a little dance is sometimes the best medicine in confronting difficult times. The professors at the University of Havana are determined to lecture with the revolutionary pride of forerunners such as Fidel Castro himself. If you are a bathroom guard, giving out toilet paper in exchange for petty change, you do it without complaint. The concept of shame has no voice here.

Amy Cheng

Whenever I walk down to the Malecón, a centuries-old seawall that borders the north coast of Havana, I take a good look at the ocean. I think of the youth who meet up late at night to enjoy reggaeton and a bottle of rum, of the enamored couples caught up in their romance, of the fishermen who cast their lines before sunrise. Sometimes I see cruise ships sitting on the horizon as old American cars zoom by on the highway behind me. I am reminded of my privilege, heavy and uncomfortable. Though I have an end date here, I am honored to leave having learned more from the strength of the Cuban people than I ever will back home. God does not forget about anyone.

Matthew Boardman, '18, Germany, English (Literature Track)

Matthew Boardman

I have spent a little more than two months studying abroad in Germany, and it has been one of the best decisions of my life. Studying abroad was an intimidating prospect with many factors to consider: Will I still be able to graduate on time? Am I willing to spend four months apart from my fiancee? Are my language skills good enough? Do I have enough savings to support myself while I am unemployed for four months? All-important questions that should be (and were) considered, but no amount of planning ever freed me from the anxiety and nervousness that I felt as my departure date approached. The fact is, there will always be an element of faith involved. At some point, you just have to do it. Take the plunge, and hope for the best.

Matthew Boardman

Easy words to say if you have had a smooth experience, but I say this as someone whose experience has not been without its difficulties. By the time I arrived in Germany, a full year had passed since I took my last German class. To say that my German was rusty when I arrived would be an understatement. It was stressful and embarrassing trying to navigate the public transportation system or to just go shopping at the grocery store. Someone in my dorm stole my food from the kitchen on three occasions. My debit card was compromised and I had hundreds of dollars in fraudulent charges on my account. No, my study abroad experience has not been perfect; yet, even knowing the challenges that I would face, if I could go back in time and decide again, I would still choose to go to Germany. I have gotten to know some wonderful people here, and my language skills have improved steadily in all areas. I have visited cities, monuments, memorials, castles and ruins in a land that is simultaneously ancient and new. These journeys, sights and experiences have facilitated internal, personal changes for which I am grateful. My perspective, appreciation and goals have all been affected by this time abroad. The personal, social and academic challenges here have contributed to a growing self-confidence and evolving sense of identity. It has been the experience of a lifetime, and I would not trade it for anything. some point, you just have to do it. Take the plunge, and hope for the best.

Matthew Boardman

If you have even the slightest desire to study abroad, leap after it. Remove the obstacles and silence the fears that you can, and accept that the remainder will be handled on the fly. What you will gain from studying abroad outweighs and outlives what you will sacrifice for it.

Lindy Scott the Keynote Speaker for the 2017 CAWL Conference

Whitworth to Host the Christian Association of World Languages Annual Conference April 5-7, 2018

Local chair: Jacob (Jake) Rapp,
CAWL website:

Donna Schrock

Our very own Lindy Scott was the keynote speaker for the 2017 CAWL national conference, held at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. His keynote address was "Let Justice Flow Like a Mighty River: Can the Study of Languages Make Us More Just Citizens of the World?"

Lindy is professor of Spanish and Latin American studies at Whitworth. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. For the better part of four decades he has taught students the subject of life using the medium of world languages and cultures (in Mexico, the United States and Costa Rica). He is the editor of Journal of Latin American Theology: Christian Reflections from the Latino South. He has co-authored Los Evangelicos: Portraits of Latino Protestantism in the United States (CEHILA) and Christians, the Care of Creation and Global Climate Change (Wheaton College). His most recent article is "La corrupción política en los Evangelios y ellibro de los Hechos." He has been married for 38 years to Dinorah and they have three children and four grandchildren.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Free Tutoring Offered to All Levels

  • German: Wednesdays, 3-4 p.m., Cowles Library, room 208
  • French: Thursdays and Sundays, 8-9 p.m., Westminster Hall, room 246
  • Spanish: Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 7-9 p.m./Mondays and Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m., Cowles Library, room 208

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. Differing from an achievement test that 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. For more information, check out the Language Testing International website at, or contact Rachelle Hartvigsen at or 509.777.4765.

DELE: Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language

Offered at Whitworth University Biannually!

This test provides an official accreditation of a student's degree of fluency in the Spanish language. This 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 the areas of 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. The placement test can be found at Students should make a well-informed decision in this regard as it is a Pass/Fail assessment. Please note that Whitworth University is currently certified to offer the B1, B2 and C1 exams. Students wishing to take other levels may do so at other testing sites.

For more information about the exam, how to register and the exam fees, please see the DELE flyer. Or contact Angeles Aller, associate professor of Spanish, at or 509.777.4205.

Scripture of the Month


Revelation 4:8

Day and night, they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, ’who was, and is, and is to come.”


Apocalipsis 4:8

Día y noche no cesaban de decir:
EL TODOPODEROSO, el que era, el que es y el que ha de venir.


Apocalypse 4:8

Jour et nuit, ils ne cessent de dire:
Saint, saint, saint
est le Seigneur Dieu,
le Tout-Puissant,
celui qui était,
qui est et qui vient.


Offenbarung 4:8

Unermüdlich, Tag und Nacht, rufen sie:
Heilig, heilig, heilig ist der Herr,
der allmächtige Gott,
der schon immer war,
der heute da ist
und der kommen wird!«


启示录 4:8



:8 ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ ﺭﺅﻳﺎ

لَيلاً وَلا نَهاراً، وَهيَ تَقولُ:
قُدُّوسٌ، قُدُّوسٌ، قُدُّوسٌ الرَّبُّ الإلَهُ
القادِرُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ.
الكائِنُ، وَالَّذِي كانَ،
وَالَّذِي سَيَأتِي.»


ヨハネの黙示録 4:8


Vol. 24 Issue 3 December 2017

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