Crossing Cultures

Spanish as Second Language - Abby Eustace

Abigail Eustace currently works 48 hours a week as an accounting and operations intern for CLC Panama — a division of CLC, a missions organization devoted to producing evangelical literature for people of all nations. Here, Eustace (left) is pictured with her co-worker Maryoleth. Photo provided by Abigail Eustace

by Public Relations

April 25, 2011

In an increasingly global society, knowing a second language is becoming more and more important. So it’s not surprising that Cedarville students of all majors are studying other languages and flying around the world to improve their skills and expand their opportunities for the future.

Theatre for Change

After taking an oral interpretation class and performing an eight-minute portion of Scripture, Stephanie Anderson, ’12, a junior theatre major, is now working to accomplish the same feat in Spanish.

A missionary kid who lived in Spain, Anderson is highly conversational in Spanish. So after she performed the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead for her family, they asked her to memorize the Christmas story in Spanish and perform it for their neighbors over Christmas break.

“At first they thought I had paraphrased the Scripture or cut it,” she says, “but when they realized that it was straight out of the Bible, they were amazed at how powerful and real it can be seeing Scripture performed.”

When Anderson declared theatre as her major, she had considered using it for ministry. Now that she has this opportunity, she’s even more excited to use her passion to share her faith in a creative and attention-getting way.

“I'm excited to use theatre to make the Christmas story come alive,” she adds. “And I’m excited to connect with our Spanish neighbors and tell this story in a way that they've never heard before so it might seem more real and relevant.”

Modes of Communication

Senior Laura Dreyer, ’11, came to Cedarville to study graphic design, but after years of Spanish language classes and a semester spent in Spain, language has become a very important part of her life.

“As a designer and artist, I am constantly learning about visual communication,” she says, “so learning another way to communicate — this time linguistically — has been awesome.”

In Spain, Dreyer studied Hispanic literature and the history of modern Spanish art. In addition, she participated in a graphic design internship at an advertising agency in Seville. None of her co-workers spoke English, she recalls, so she was forced to improve her speaking skills fast.

But she’s grateful for the opportunity. The practice using Spanish and her experiences abroad were invaluable, she says, and they have put her in a position to use her knowledge of communication to build bridges between cultures in the Church and between people in her own life.

“Unity in this world and in the Church matters so much to God, and I hope to reflect that by getting to know and learning from Spanish-speaking people,” she says. “Even in America, we have the gift of being able to walk down the street and hear all kinds of different cultures and perspectives, so to be able to cultivate diversity within the Church is incredible. Having the opportunity to grow friendships with people by speaking their language is one of the best experiences I've ever had, and I look forward to continuing that throughout the rest of my life.”

Full-time Immersion

Abigail Eustace, ’12, took a semester off from Cedarville to complete an internship in Panama. While her major was international business, her experiences abroad have put her future plans in flux.

Eustace currently works 48 hours a week as an accounting and operations intern for CLC Panama — a division of CLC, a missions organization devoted to producing evangelical literature for people of all nations. Even though she studied Spanish in high school and spent a semester abroad in Spain, this new experience is forcing her to internalize the language in a new way.

“I consider Spanish my second language, and it’s now a big part of who I am as a person,” she shares. “When I was in Spain, I realized that I was no longer satisfied with the range of expression of English. I often feel like there are some things that can be expressed better in Spanish. Learning another language opens doors of expression and ways of thinking you didn’t know existed. In Panama, I communicate almost exclusively in Spanish. It can be a challenge not to completely comprehend everything in my conversations with people. However, it is stretching me in a good way.”

Using her strengthened language skills and increased knowledge of a different culture, she hopes to someday work with Spanish-speaking women who have faced abuse or discrimination. “I also want to use what I learned in my major to help administer a microfinance program,” she adds, “lending to these women and teaching them business skills so they can start their own small businesses and provide for themselves and their families. The ultimate goal will be to share Jesus Christ with them, through both words and tangible actions.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.

More Information

Department of Art, Design, and Theatre  

Department of Business Administration

Department of Media and Applied Communications  

Department of English, Literature, and Modern Languages

International Programs